Category Archives: testeMENt.

Who Are You Again?

How often have you introduced yourself as your twitter/instagram handle? I personally need more than two hands to count the number of times I have done this. There are people who I consider real friends who only refer to me as my online nomenclatures. 
 
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In this day and age of everything being readily available, I feel we have lost touch on what personal relationships can be when we engage in a purely reality based  interactions. Where we learn each others likes and dislikes through talking instead of timelines. Where we get out of this romanticized view of the world and actually experience what it has to offer. The fear of missing out is becoming less and less of an observance and more of an diagnosis. 
 
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We tend to see pictures of people having a good time and in ours minds we believe that their fun is way more enjoyable than anything we are currently partaking in. When the reality is that, that picture is a moment and not an event. The person smiling with the solo cup is not an accurate model for the person before nor after the shutter has closed. A picture they say is worth a thousand words but who is to say that any of these words are true. The greatest hiding place for dispare is behind a smile.
 
I implore you to seek fulfillment outside of social networks. Think about how often your experiences are diminished to nothing more than a hashtag. Is that not saddening? I live by the adage that anyone who is truly having the time of their lives is too busy in the moment to document it. Our greatest moment will always be captured with our eyes and saved in our hearts of which there are no passwords. 
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Live your life off of the computer screen. Develop a personna that extends beyond and app. Do not fear the virtuous state of mystery. Is it okay for people to ask you how your trip was, did you get that job you were excited for, etc. I challenged all the viewers to downgrade their next big adventure. Make a physical photo album for when friends come over to visit, this creates conversation. There is nothing like face to face interactions, these will never go out of style. So log off and go out into the world, go off grid and embrace the sunshine and soft kisses the earth has provided in the form of wind.
 
As Always, I love You, God loves You, Love Yourself,
Man of Madu
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Am I My Brothers Keeper?

I was recently at an event at my University about use of the N-Word, when a question was raised: Why do we greet each other with ‘Whats up Nigga?”, when it used to be “Whats up BROTHER?”. The host responded saying that it was just a change in the times. I respectfully disagree. There is no way that time has changed the word Brother to Nigga. The times are the same it is our mentality that changed. Personally I still refer to many of my peers as Brother, so am i behind on the times? I think not.
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As a people we have somehow fallen into a mindset that we are no longer apart of a large family fighting the same battles. We now see each other as competition, incapable of compassion for this pseudo-enemy that we have fabricated in our minds. There was a time where everyone was referred to as your Sister or Brother, now if you say it, you are looked at as eccentric. As if just the thought of you being equal with another person of color is this obscure concept to be shut down. There is nothing wrong with climbing a ladder and reaching down to help someone that slipped.
Unknown-28“Nigga” displays a sense of inequality no matter how you spin in. When we get out of the ‘crabs in a barrel’ mindset as a people we will then be able to thrive. Someone somewhere instilled the thought that if you do not make it on your own then it does not count, however that is not now nor has it ever been the case. Most of us do not have trust fund or any huge bounty awaiting us to come of age, all we truly have is each other. If you look at the news they do not care, where you are from or what you have as far as they are concerned we are all the same. It is not just the hoodlums that are being murdered by those sworn to protect, it is the student, the teacher, the lawyer, whoever unfortunate enough to adorn the influx of melanin that was bestowed upon us in the womb.
If we do not see each other as equal then why the hell should those in power? Last time I check there was no identifier that makes you better than another, so if you are on a pedestal, I pray it is so you can kneel upon it to gain the leverage needed to pull up another. The shines of your success will never, dim that of another’s but if you cross the path of another who has yet to find their light, then by all means use your light to illuminate their path so that they too can become a lighthouse to the many lost ships out there. So in short, Yes, I am my Brother’s keeper. And my Sister’s as well.
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As Always I Love You, God Loves You, LOVE Yourself,
Man of Madu

The Shunned.

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Step in the shoes of men who are viewed as criminals….

Seen so generally but never as an individual…

Scrutinized without any word or action….

Lies dictate the fate of these men…

Premature accusations ridden with past fears that have no weight…

Yet they are supposed to fight a fight unseen by their own eyes…

Blind…

While already seen as an enemy, nowhere to flee…

A target embedded in them since birth…

Another gangsta born to caged or slaughtered in the streets…

Few weep as the sheep could careless…

In their eyes these men don’t deserve life…

While their mom’s only sees the innocence within…

Maybe a new king or shabazz within…

Take a walk in the shoes of men who don’t know what fair is…

Shunned because of skin they had no choice to bear….

Can you see it thru their eyes…?

Take a peak…

Read between the lies…

Time has passed but where is our change?? Centuries behind due to the chains…

Yet in our history we started as kings…

Now the only thing worth chasing is fame…

or playing a simple ballgame…

The only way I won’t be looked as the same.…

If only money could change everything….

Because in their eyes we’re all the same…

Just another colored man fiending for hoes and bling…

It’s Assimilate or gain nothing…

Maybe then the target will change…

Will these men ever be loved In this world?? Or Are we born to be slain?? Extermination of the past kings and queens…

A generational genocide yet no says a thing…

It started with our leaders now all we know is pain…

 

…….The Shunned……

Sincere

Little Black Boy

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I wrote a poem a little while ago and for some reason I decided to entitle it Little Black Boy,now at first i could not decide why I named it this because usually my poems do not have titles. Then I realized that I named it little black boys, because it seems that these days it is becoming harder and harder for little black boys to live long enough to become Men.
The preservation of life is becoming more and more important as we are constantly losing could-be future Doctors, Lawyers, Educators, Preachers, etc by the dozens. This statistic is expounding across every creed and culture, the amount of tears shed for this monumental loss of innocence could fill a multitude of seas. We have to start taking better care of ourselves and learning from the mistakes of our brothers and sisters. We must bring back the pack mentality, especially in at-risk neighborhoods, do not go strolling the streets by yourself. Always be aware of your surroundings!
I am not against any type of law enforcement but it is becoming more and more evident that We are not the demographic they had in mind when they were told to “Protect and Serve”, we are the danger! That can no longer be the case. If you are in the presence of an Officer please PLEASE, I implore you to do what they ask, but do not be afraid to ask questions! If it comes to a point where you feel that your, rights are being violated, ask questions and be as polite as you can. This is not being a bitch this is being intelligent. We as a people cannot afford to lose any more voices. It is our job, to shine brighter when one of the candles have been snuffed out. So shine bright. 

Now as for my poem, when I write, I do not for the page, I write so that one day it might be spoken so some things might not flow as nicely on page. Without further ado: Little Black Boy

I am the future and the past
And I hope that I last long enough to walk my future mini Me’s to class
Hear my joyous reverberation of a newborns first laugh
Am I pray my wife with have enough class to not adorn clothing that fits in such a way that her treasures are on display
Because it doesnt take a pirate to know that are scavengers out there plotting on your booty.

I want to get rich so when i dress poor its ironic
Instead of a peak inside my socio economical closet
Hella wealthy in mental money
Authors steady making deposits
Intellectual capitol one
Whats in your wallet?

Brain waves 360 like I wrapped it in a du rag
Old neighbors turned gang bangers dont know why they mad
Im like “why” i had the same opportunity that you had
You upset because you chose the gun and I chose the book bag

Youre the reason why when I pass old ladies on the streets they clutch their clutches
Because little Twon could never get a louis vuitton without snatchin and runnin

Many have no idea how hard it is to shoot for the stars
With a fully loaded fully stocked unlocked and cocked imagination
Especially when the weapons of those around you arent aimed as high and arent so metaphorical

Hard to keep track of time when on the look for the neighborhood watch
Hard to keep my train of thought when worried about over zealous transit cops
Who pick on me because they have a quota of repremandments
And if I act up he’ll break rule six of the ten commandments

Suits worn to home going services that were purchased  for interviews
There are no peaceful protest becauses everyones at the funerals

Dont let your potential go waste
Dont let your casket be your cubicle

I am the future, And I hope to honor my past before I pass.

As Always I Love You, God Loves You, LOVE YOURSELF,

Man of Madu

Do Not Mistake the Television for a Looking Glass.

I went to an event tonight that was focused on the empowerment of the Black Woman, and I must admit as much as I thought I knew about Women in general, I had no idea how much baggage they carried in the curve of  their smiles, with the excess spilling out of their pockets books. For that, I apologize. I have often mistaken the sass of Women, for outright disdain when it simply, could have been fatigue from walking around carrying the weight of not only her thoughts but the constant judgement the Black Woman bares the instant she exits her threshold. I will no longer fall victim to the insensitivity many of my Brothers have falling victim to, trying to tailor the Woman that wears her heart on her sleeve. 

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I have written in previous post about my love for the Black Woman, I see them all as personified art, with each curve and each follicle being a stroke of the creators paint brush, each somewhat similar but unapologetically unique at the same time. So this hits very close to home. Raised in a house with two older sisters, my Mother and Grandmother, I would never think that the pain they self imposed, whether it be a perm, or eyebrow waxing or what have you, would be so that they could go outside and be seen as an actual member of society. The mind set is so absurd, that one must  jump through hoops to look “desirable” on the outside for people to want to know the beauty that resides within. This world is tainted and I want to take the time out and use my medium to let every Woman that is reading this that if no one ever told you, you were beautiful, I am saying it right now! You Are Gorgeous! I mean that from the bottom of my heart. Do not hang your head for any reason because you were made in God’s image, so walk as if you are trying to talk to him face to face and thank him for your many blessing. DO NOT EVER apologize, for your complexion, your curves or the coarseness of your hair because you are so much more than any of those things. 

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The media has started this facade that all Women must be a default, no one varying from the next. Ladies this is a lie and you should not stand for it. If The Almighty wanted every Woman to look the same then he would have made you that way. Embrace your insecurities, sharpen them until they transform from a shield you hide behind to a sword that you fight with. The media is not real, what you see every morning is. Focus on the “Im every Woman”s and not the “Girl You Look Good Wont You Back That Thang Up”, even though I know that one genre heavily out weighs the other. The power of Man, in a general since of all human beings, comes from inside of you so for every compliment you do not get, you give yourself one and then give one to the girl who also may not have gotten one. Kindness has always been contagious, be the stone that causes miles of ripples in the Sea.

I hate when Men say that they apologize on behalf of all Men, that is asinine. I do apologize however for the times, however few, that I made any Woman feel as if you was not the Queen that she is. I make a promise to all Women that when my kingdom begins and my Queen and I welcome our Prince into the world, from day one he will be taught respect, humility and admiration for the beauty that lies within and outside of a women. My Princess will no that Daddy thinks she is gorgeous, and the television is a make believe place and the magazines tend to pretend that, the Women that call their pages home are perfect, and at this point I will point her to a mirror so she can see first hand want perfection really is.

As Always, I Love You, God Loves You, Love Yourself,

Man of Madu

Ball, You Aint Never Lied!!

AfroMadu is using our voice to attempt to put an end to obesity in the youth as well as the African-American community. So I am going to try to preach on some Basketball Court Etiquette. With these steps you will not only be ballin but also make some good friends. Now I LOVE Basketball it is like poetry in motion to me, and I take it very seriously, as do those you will be playing with. A lot of these rules apply to any interactions with large groups so pay attention.

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1. Bring Your Own Ball: If you go to a court there is a high possibility that there will already be a game in progress. Now is the time to silently plead your case for “Next”. While on the sidelines, dribble constantly, if you know some fancy stuff, show off! Now this is not a try out for an And 1 mixtape so leave all the ‘under the shirt wrap around’ nonsense at home. You look like a clown, this is serious. Personally I, just do some simple stationary crossover moves maybe a behind the back and leave it at that. Nothing is worse than trying to show off and having the ball roll into the middle of their game, you will be the wrong kind of attention.

In a business setting, you do not want to show up to a board meeting without your own pen and pad, but at the same time you do not want to show up with ALL of your gadgets because it makes you look like a douche.

2. Be Patient: The average game is played to the low teens, 11, 13, 15, but on occasion there is a game to 21 so be patient. My biggest pet peeve is someone asking me every basket what score is, while I’m trying to play D or set screens…etc. Also the rule of the ghetto is you have to win by 2, so keep that in mind while you are waiting. Make use of this time introduce yourself to everyone else waiting to hit the court because they are most likely apart of your community and who knows they might be your teammate in 10 minutes. If they are playing half court use the other half to warm up, jumpers, layups all that fun stuff.

In the real world you NEVER know who you are talking to so it is always imperative to show yourself in a positive light. At that internship anyone could be anyone. In an elevator you could be next to the window washer or the head of HR so you can not be shy.

3.Be Confident: Make it known that you got NEXT! Do not be overlooked as a spectator. You have to be sure of yourself! If they ask if you nice, you immediately answer in the affirmative. No one wants to play with someone who does not know whether or not they have talent.

If you were the Head of a company would you hire someone who was unsure of themselves, I wouldn’t.

4.No Your Limits: You have to be aware of your strengths and weaknesses. I am 5’11, so I am not going to ask for no alley oops! Also Im a somewhat big guy, so if I get the ball in the open floor, Im not going to try and cross nobody, I will pass or pull up! Also I know I’m a defender so that what I try to display the most. You have to know where you shine, so that next time you hit the court, they tell you that you have next, you don’t have to ask!

Every interviewer will ask you your strengths and weaknesses, you have NO weaknesses! You rephrase your strengths to answer the question. If you are ambitious, then your weakness is you often push yourself to your limits in order to complete multiple assignments to a level that is above average.

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Use these tips to get healthy and hired!!

As Always: I Love You, God Loves You, LOVE Yourself,

Man of Madu

The Barbershop: Shape-Ups and Short-Cuts to Life.

The barbershop. The “town hall” for most inner city African American men. Where you walk out a little sharper in every aspect of the word.

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The barbershop is similar to a gathering around a fire place, or even a conference table. New stories to tell, accomplishments to share, or controversy to discuss. From the Eagles quarterback issues, to the Stand your ground law in Florida, everything is discussed in the barbershop.

Barbershops are almost like second families. This explains the guilt African American men feel when they “cheat” on their barbers. Not only do you catch up on the latest news, but you gain a relationship- a trust with someone. Putting this person in charge of the first thing a person will notice about you before you say a word. Your grooming can make or break an encounter with anyone, and for the African American male your barber is in control of that.

Not only are there discussions and haircuts taking place in the barbershop. But for young black boys some morals are gained.

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When you go to a barbershop there are certain rules that you adhere to:

Rule number 1: Address the entire as shop as a whole upon arrival.

That’s includes the barbers AND people waiting for a cut. Not doing so is deemed as disrespectful. But this rule can also be transferred into the workplace, always acknowledge the presence of other people in the room. You never know who may be there.

Rule number 2: ask a SPECIFIC barber “how many he has”

Neglecting this rule can have you waiting for hours, time that could’ve easily been saved if you just clarified who you wanted to cut your hair. If you’re just sitting there quietly everyone will assume that you have already spoken to someone. This rule I learned from experience.

Rule Number 3: Be CLEAR in what type of haircut you want

Learn the types of haircuts there are to get. You just saying “yeah that’s fine” to anything can leave you looking like buckwheat for 2 weeks. This rule I’ve also learned from experience.

The 4th and final rule to ensure a positive barbershop experience is:

TIP THE BARBER!!!
If you like what a barber has done show your appreciation in your payment. Give them an incentive to want to cut your hair again. (You never know those tips can possibly determine whether they’re cutting their last head of the day or if they will be ending with you.)

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If you look closely these rules resonate everyday in your life. The way you engage in conversation as you enter a room says something about your presence. Very important in job interviews. Your clarity in haircut description can also transfer into the workforce. When you need tasks completed efficiently and the way you imagined, details can ultimately get you a promotion, or get you fired.

Lastly, the tip is also a life lesson. Display your appreciation for any service you receive. A sure fire way to receive the same service a second time, or a third time. People always appreciate recognition of their good work.

To the African American man the barbershop is a pseudo-sanctuary. Life lessons are learned, opinions are formed, and beautiful relationships are built. So the next time you walk into your local barber shop let “shape-up” take on a whole new meaning.