A little over four years ago, a developer, my team and I were working with disappeared. We searched everywhere for him and couldn’t find me. He was young and many people told us to move on, that young people are never reliable. We knew it was unlike him but his disappearance shattered us too. We moved on, but kept hoping for the day we would meet again and well scream or smile. Today, we have been smiling. In four years, the developer who disappeared has turned into a brilliance that keeps me smiling. I sent a little message today which took me back to the fire we all went through together. He is coming into his own and his brilliance is divine. Keep young people close. When they shine, they just might dazzle you

Still in awe of God’s Favor!

I made an investment today, for a future that once seemed impossible. My state of being and all that I hoped to become fundamentally changed with this investment. Possibilities of life, all of which that enable me to voice and imagine more than I can be, allowed me to make this investment fully. There will be moments like this. Those those that defy words. Yet, this investment allowed me to see the beyond my being. Visualize your dreams, I say these days. Do all you can to even dream and the execute them fully. If you do, you too will be making an investment with a life that only practices freedom. I am free because I choose LIGHT.

It’s here. This investment is everything!

I made an investment for a future that once seemed impossible. My state of being and all that I hoped to become fundamentally changed with this investment. Possibilities of life, all of which that enable me to voice and imagine more than I can be, allowed me to make this investment fully. There will be moments like this. Those that defy words. All because this investment allowed me to see beyond my being. Visualize your dreams, I say these days. Do all you can to even dream and then execute them fully. If you do, you too will be making an investment with a life that only practices freedom. I am free because I choose LIGHT.

It’s here. This investment is everything!

My daughter cut her hair off today. It was by accident and she has been crying ever since. At first I was angry. I told her to go to her grandma to remove her braids. Grandma has always done so before. She felt she could do it on her own and didn’t need any help. I actually agreed and watched as she went back to her room to begin removing her braids. About an hour later, she came downstairs crying. I looked at her hair and about 40% of it is gone. There is also no point saving the remaining 60% as she cut it all out unevenly. At first I felt anger, which turned to disbelief, then hope, then peace. All sorts of emotions were running through my head honestly but these personify my mood. First I canceled her hair appointment for tomorrow because there was nothing to save. She cried through that but there are consequences for every action. Then I proceeded to use this moment to teach.

We all have to get rid of certain things that weigh us down and honestly for little girls in America, hair is one of them. I grew up with low hair cut at her age and never really understood why I had to do anything to my hair. It allowed me focus and I came into my own, never worried about what I looked. I share this to say, at her age, I also had no hair. I would have preferred we approached this differently but since this is the bed she decided to make, well, I look forward to making the most out of this experience with her, with joy, with pride, of all that she can be, just as she is meant to be. In the meantime, to encourage her of potential looks she could carry with her short hair, I googled for black girls with low cut hairstyles. Try it yourself. There are none. Only young or older women.

That black short hairstyles for girls are not even visible on the internet is the very reason I am proud she will bravely carry this short hair look this summer. It’s different for sure and requires some getting used to, but I’m elated for representation and visibility of all that she can be with or without hair. Keep black girls with their low cuts visible.

Blue, skies are blue. Smile, big smiles are big. Love from you is love. Grace will do, will do. Otito Chukwu. We celebrated our Tochi with grace and gratitude today. The skies were the perfect blue. Family flew from afar and full of love. We smiled, we toasted, we celebrated. If you knew how this journey began, you will know why we are grateful for grace. Keep flying beyond blues skies still. Happy graduation day, Tochi.

Motherhood is not only a noun, but a sound, a state of being, history, culture, memories, mine, theirs, evenings with a sigh, mornings with a smile, all of me, some of them. Something full of complexity, enormity, anything that personifies thing. It’s that thing that is terrible, yet we do in stride, with strength to speak for those yet to speak, stories yet told of loves black line mind who mother in stride.

Like those of my grandmother, a woman, history will never know. Not as a book or a star etched to the ground. Yet memories of her being, bloom in my being. For when I think of motherhood, I see her. My first example of being. Like raindrops falling on my head. The truth nestled within each drop, every single one on my head, is a way of being, she personified so well. Juliana was her first name. Iwegbu her last. Yet, when I speak, you hear her words oozing from my lips, as if she was me in flesh, wearing bones again, and her words break out through me to remind me of all the ways she didn’t falter.

Everything she did was with intention. Even now that she insists we say her name. Juliana Iwegbu. This day was bound to come. She welcomes you in these bones with words that insist on living, a picture of blackness blessed. A picture of the one she birthed. Standing in front of anything. Standing, smiling, saying nothing, doing nothing. But standing. Unapologetic for the thorns that witness how life insists on being born. That to me is motherhood, the idea of doing, being, seeing, not for yourself but for those that would speak of your ways, long after your way of seeing the world, your way of understanding it too, ends, or begins through those who now stand even in the rain.

Happy Mothers Day to all.

I stand because of so many mothers!

I may not have planted you. I did not water you. But I love you every Spring, with the joy of a thousand seeds. I did not plant you, but in you, I uncover things long buried within, happiness, devotion, eternal Spring for a seed planted and watered with care. I did not plant you, but I soaked up your beauty, during days of pleasant dreaming. I did not plant you, but under your reign, I uncover a new being, under your shadow a new me, one open to destiny. These days, everything you see may not be my destiny, but they are the foundation, the land of my womb.

More plants are blooming!

She fried yams this morning.

Thick golden, brown yams.

Cooking teaches love, a kind of power, full for those who know themselves, those who lead.

This morning we saw a tree bend all the way down to its purpose.

Our daughter is becoming a tree full of purpose, full of power.

She fried yams this morning.

Everyone else, including her brothers are following.

Like perfectly cut yams, we see the power of becoming trees.

My daughter’s fried yams!

In a world where the life experiences of black girls are invisible, many are changing the narrative. Some honor and center their lives with stories that are empowering and transformative. Some name and define all they ways they are let down instead of uplifted, ignored rather than elevated. Still others write so that they can be seen. From they way they speak, to the words they use and in different contexts, black girls are rendered visible, with voice, with vision. Their lives are not neglected or omitted. Not ignored or dismissed. Not when they live free. Thrive free too. In spaces that elevate all that make them beautiful, loved, and blessed. A generation of people are committed to understanding what makes them happy. What brings them joy too. All the way they cry. All they ways they thrive too. Even what they do to remain in the picture, to matter, to be superior, where they belong, or anywhere else.

It’s for this reason, I want to celebrate a new feat in my daughter’s life. Her attempts at cooking for others. It may seem trivial, the act of frying yams and eggs for a morning breakfast. She didn’t have to do it either, yet she did, in the same way her mother and grandmother, plus her daddy too, have done to make breakfast on any given Saturday morning. I celebrate my daughter for for preserving and enriching our lives with her fried yams this morning. Each piece we ate is etched in my memory now of the permanence and beauty of girlhood lived in one’s own terms. Cooking to me is life, and it’s the medium through which I offer love to my family and those around me. It’s also how we preserve our culture in ways that makes sense to us. I hope this experience of frying yams on a Saturday morning remains with my daughter. I hope the lessons of this act may help her to use cooking or any other life experiences she desires, in prudent ways, to incite change with the future she desires.

My baby boy hugged strangers today. I tried to stop him, but he hugged their back a little tighter. I proceeded to apologize for his touchy feely ways but the strangers, two African women turned around and hugged him back. I smiled. Then he he told them his name. Shared the name of his brother, his mother, his sister, his other brother and his grandma. The women smiled and shared the same. We were at a festival focused on tasting the best of food from a people far from home. But truly, through the eyes of my son, the eyes of two African women we met, strangers at first, we tasted the best of humanity.

The sight of love, from eyes that never lie, restored a balance time almost tried to hide. Watching their eyes widen, holding ourselves tightly, is the reason why living is a fire.

There was happiness all around, for love they know and a new love trapped in a new house they own. The one with hands called to save, built a house for them with love, one plank by plank.

For them and only them, we are choosing love. Choosing all the ways it helps us soar. In a backyard full of new grass, with tiny legs running all around, this love is like a fever that insists it remains.

The house that love built…

First, they shoot. They dismiss your look, dim your light, all to erase your name. They succeed. Or so they think. You may stumble, you may fall, you may bleed, you may weep. But your name remains. The thing they can’t destroy. The name they can’t uproot too. Not when the ground belongs to you. The earth and even them too. They exist because you live. They die even as you live. Every single way you restore, you rebuild, you reduce their hate to love. So remember your essence, remember love. That is the power of you, the one named Ralph. The one who endlessly starts over and over again, full of embers, that never die, full of light, that never dies.

I like to find treasures in books. Some old, some new. Some full of prose, some simply poetry. If beauty was measured by the books you read, I’ll be the most beautiful reader you’ll ever meet. Keep all the books you read.

My last son is in his ABC recital phase and one book I keep coming back to always is the Black BC’s book by Lucille Clifton. The richness of our heritage, the boldness too, makes this book a treasure always to hold and keep. I personally believe it is one of Ms. Clifton’s most powerful book, one that I hope to use to inspire my son with during this phase of his life.