When you see homeless, poor or people who just aren’t able out on the streets dirty, or unpleasant is because life has knocked them down a few times and they are in search of the tools to dust that bit of dirt off there clothes and cleanse there souls with the water we all take advantage of. Be cognizant and try no to pass judgment on others. I remember one Easter a few years back I was siting in church and the pastor was preaching and he used a hospital as an analogy to describe life. He said we are all sick but we are on different levels so who are we to put our nose down at the next person. To me that made perfect sense and one of the best analogies I’ve heard that years later I remembered it. He went on to explain that we have no room to pass judgement because you are just as sick as the next person. Remember to be kind and love one another more no matter the differences and in return you’ll be loved.
Confident, yet still shy as little kid around strangers. Ready to expose the ups and downs of the realities of his entire life but still hiding behind a few shadows of his past. Not completely comfortable in his own skin as you can tell he’s still talking in 3rd person leaving the audience in limbo wondering if the story is about himself. The thoughts and feelings coming from deep within burning with passion. Although rough around the edges their is this philosophical nature to him, so he’s been told once or twice in his lifetime ;). Wishing to be born in another era because I don’t feel I fit in with the era in which I was born. My mannerisms, intellect and logic reveals that of a man that’s been living far longer than a person in there late 20’s. Trying to stay level-headed in a society where minds are being lost do to the major influences of trending topics and keeping up with the Jones lifestyles. Wondering what happened to the times without cell phones, where we played outside with friends and siting on the couch on Saturday mornings and watch cartoons until the late afternoon. The simple things in life are fine and dandy plus It helps escape the pressures of keeping up with rapidly changing “things” in the world. I mean let’s face it nothing last anyway something new is always on the brink. Life has taught me some of the most valuable, and humbling lessons that had kept me so grounded I couldn’t leave the pavement even if I wanted to. The knowledge of life is gained through experience and experience is gained from living life every day. I’m thankful for what life has taught me and continues to teach me because it’s made me well-rounded as a person. Still trying to find my place in this life I’m helping others find themselves as well. With the ability to envision the capabilities of those around me I use my life experiences and knowledge to help drive them to their full potential and once they’ve done that I then assist them to exceed their limits by instilling confidence in them. My passion, drive and determination comes from the chances at life I’ve been given on more than one occasion. Some people were born not to quit and others well, they learn how to quit along the way. I never question a person who continues to try no matter the number of failures. Dreams, desires and successes aren’t made over night because it’s the failures that make the successes all the more enjoyable. One day you will become the person you envision yourself to be. Confident, brave, intellectual, successful, determined, strong, and understood might be some great qualities one might desire. Be that, believe in it and talk yourself into those qualities. Maybe soon the fake smiles will wear off, the tears will dry, and the closet will be completely free of the lingering shadows, webs of lies, and negative energy.
“How Long Will They Mourn Me?”
A fallen star when Tupac died I cried, I couldn’t believe someone I related to so much was dead. Someone. when I was having a rough day I could come home and put on Keep Your Head Up or when I saw my momma struggle I could listen to Dear MAMA and feel better.
“They could never understand what you set out to do, instead they chose to ridicule you, when you got weak they loved the sight of dimming and flickering star light. How could they understand what was so intricate loved by many, so intimate”.
They wanted to see your lifeless corpse, this way they could not alter the course of ignorance they have set out to make our people forget, what they have done for much to long. To just forget and carry on, I’ll love you forever, because of who you are. Know I mourn you, a Fallen Star. -2pac Shakur
Tupac predicted his death and he let us know it was coming in his songs; you just had to read between the lines. He told us how, but didn’t give the time, although Tupac is gone, his lyrics live on. In The Event of my Demise, when my heart can beat no more I hope to die for a principle or a belief that I have lived for, I will die before my time, because I feel the shadows depths. So much I wanted to accomplish before I reached my death I have come to grips with the possibility, and wiped the last tear from my eye. I loved all that was positive In The Event Of My Demise.
Written by Jajuan Marquis Jefferson
Today I cried and I could tell I still have yet to heal from the many tragic memories I hold on to but this specific memory I don’t think I’ll ever get over. Each tear that rolled down my eye signified each emotion I felt the night I lost the person closes to me, my brother Jajuan. I yelled as loud as I could with my eyes closed and fist balled up as tight as I could all while driving. The tears signifying hurt, anger, vindictive behavior, and helplessness. I just wanted my best friend by my side (sigh) with my eyes getting watery as I write this very sentence trying desperately not to cry, the tears rolled down anyways altering my vision. Unfortunate for me the only thing tears could blur was my vision and not my deep depression from the hardest lost I’ve ever endured in my lifetime. With 2 Pac playing in the background I yell louder with every ounce of energy I had in my body hoping and wishing he just pop up with comforting words to calm my bruised soul. I try to repeat the lyrics to the song keep your head up and all I could do was drown my voice out with the tears profusely pouring down my face. I more than miss my brother because I can’t help but blame myself for his demise. I still fight with my conscious with the feeling I could’ve done something to prevent it by simply keeping out of trouble but being my 17-year-old self anger got the best of me and merely cost me apart of myself. Weeks prior to his demise we were inseparable, chilling tougher than the cement we stood on. One day I was having a bad day at school and I tried hard to search for one of my friends after school let out, so I went to the one place I knew where most of my friends would hang out, the school’s basketball gym. Sure enough I found my homie Elias but we called him kiwi. I walked over to him to ask if he had seen my brother and he hadn’t so I thought I’d just vent to him but before I could a voice from the stands said “move” with authority. I responded in a calm manner asking the guy to relax and he could be more courteous. I wasn’t aware I was blocking his view from the freshman basketball game that was going on beside us. So I turned back to Kiwi to continue conversing and again the voice from the stands spoke not 3 seconds after I turned away. Again the words “I said move nigga” were uttered. I instantly snapped and walked up the stands to this individual and grabbed him by the throat and exchanged some heated nouns and verbs to him with rage that came from the darkest place I know. After I let go of his throat and pushed him down further into the bleachers I walked back down to where kiwi was. The guy got up upset cursing and then said “get down blood” antagonizing me to fight him and at this point I was beyond livid. I was ready to beat his face in but kiwi nor the school security who had walked in on the tail end of the altercation made me leave the gym. l remember it was a Friday and as I was walking home more angry than I originally was from earlier in the day thinking I had to do something to release all the anger I had built up inside me. I got home didn’t speak a word to anyone as I sat of the couch watching television with my cousin. My parental units were on their way out-of-town for the weekend and said less than a few words to them with no eye contact. Later that night I went back to the school to see if the kid I had the incident was up at the school because there was a varsity basketball game that night and sure enough as I pull up on my bike with my cousin riding on the back pegs he stood with a buddy of his. I got off my bike and approached him asking if he was still putting on his tough guy act and before I knew it he bolted around the schools parking lot running in between the few cars there. I caught him before he could get far and hit him square in the back of his head knocking him to the ground. I then continued to punch him with blows to the face and head. I also threw in a few kicks to the body and head. Every punch that landed drew more and more blood from his body, I beat him to unconsciousness. I got back on my bike and road home. Monday couldn’t arrive any quicker that weekend. That day I was arrested and booked on assault with a deadly weapon, the deadly weapon being the use of my feet to kick him. I spent a few days in jail without a regret in my bone with what I had done. I blacked out and had no remorse, I had anger that could only be explained as demonic. I ended up being released from jail and sentenced to 3-4 months on house arrest. I was free from a jail cell but not from what was about to happen that changed my life forever. Now I would still be able to see my bro at school and everything but I had to be back home at a certain before my probation offer called. I was given about an hour to get home and I would get random visits from her. She happen to make a house visit one day where she laid all the rules down insisting that friends nor family members were to be in contact with me. After that day is where things got cold. I would often stand in front of the screen door waiting for someone to pass by to talk to but that never happened until the day I didn’t know would be the last time I’d ever see my brother again. I had seen him walking up the block and called him over to barrow the Ja Rule 3:16 album so I could burn it lol. The good ol days when we still listened to actual CD’s. Any who he came over and dropped it off and asked if I was good and I responded yes although I was bored to death. Since my P.O didn’t allow anyone over my house I fell into a daily routine, homework then did whatever I could to quite from being bored. I’d stand in front of the door way waiting to see Jajuan again so I could give him back his CD. One day I did my homework watched a little TV and then passed out earlier than usual because I had nothing else to do.This night I’d never forget, it was a nightmare but this was reality. I was shaken out of my sleep I can’t remember who it was that did it but I came to and was taken down stairs. I had my blanket still covered on me, it was cold and after I got to the door life got colder than it’s ever been and no blanket in the world could warm me. I stood in the door way still half asleep, Kadeem and Day Day telling me “Jajuan got shot, Jajaun got shot”! At the time it wasn’t registering to me I was in disbelief like what in the heck is going on type of expression on my face. All I could ask is “Is he dead?” They responded shaking the heads yes, I then dropped the blanket standing as still as a statue. I couldn’t speak nor move I felt frozen, I couldn’t cry, I couldn’t fall I just stood there in shock. I was having an out-of-body experience in the moments I heard the words that my brother was dead. I ran to a corner in my house sitting and rocking. I cried for hours, until my eyes were swollen shut. I didn’t move out of that corner for nearly 24 hours not speaking, just a mute. No one could get through to me I was long gone and really had nothing to look forward to. I didn’t even get to hear what had happen the night of his death until about a few weeks later. I learned he was murdered in a car to car shooting, taking a bullet to the head DOA. There had been different stories evolving from that horrifying night and until this day I don’t know if I believe the story I was told. This incident happened a weekend before I got off house arrest, I was distraught. I can’t explain how guilty I feel for the demise of my best friend. If only I had controlled my anger a few months prior I wouldn’t be here telling this story. In my mind I saw it going one of two ways, one being me 100% sure we would have been hanging out on the block until the late hours of the night or me being in that same car with him probably resulting in my demise. Ironically, Kiwi the same person I went to confide in the day I got into that fight with that kid, was the same persons arms my brothers fell in the moment he was shot and killed in the back seat of that white Chevy Caprice. By the end of this post I had cried an ocean filled with emotions that feel impossible to overcome. The only thing to help me through the days when I’m feeling hopeless are the memories we shared they’ll last me centuries.
Ghetto is a place not an action. A place I spent my childhood days where I witnessed the struggle as well as live through it. Before the age of 5 I was introduced to sex, drugs, and crime. I didn’t know any better so to me it was all normal. I still remember the night I killed a corner of a 40oz bottle at age 4 sitting on the porch on Temple Ave in front of a baby blue 60′ rag Impala. Compton, a city filled with struggle, gang infested culture taking over the minds of the young black kids. Knowing nothing other than a pistol, big homies and banging the set seemed like the only future a ni**a had. With an absent parent in the household and the other out too busy working and when they weren’t working it was partying. Thank god for grandma looking after me and my other cousins. The front porch is where I spent a lot of my time, sometimes by myself or with my homie Ace or accompanied by any one of my cousins. For me life was at a stand still while I was out on that porch because I’d desperately try to comprehend the things I saw happen. When I looked across the street I often saw Chico in physical altercations with his girlfriend at least once a week. The police drove by shaking people down just because they could often resulting in arrest. I often wondered why police would come around the neighborhood and harass people. I lived in the neighborhood what’s known as the most notorious gang in Compton the South Side crips. To me all I knew was blue and gold head to toe. Some were family members, others consisted of guys and girls from around the neighborhood. With gangs came major crimes. I would go to sleep to police sirens, gun shoots and helicopters. Me and my cousins would sleep on the floor under the windows to avoid the stray bullets flying in flurries. The only reason we knew that is because our grandma told us in response to our curiosity. One of the saddest nights of my childhood came the night I was out on the front porch chilling with my homie Ace chopping it up. Can’t recall what we were conversing about given I was only a kid. Any who we had to cut our conversation short because he had to leave so I gave him a handshake and he walked out the front gate. As he was walking along the side walk a few yards from the house I ran to the fence yelling peace out big homie and as he looked back at me crossing the street waving a speeding car came down Temple Ave and hit him. I remember him flying in the air and me standing in shock with tears running down my face. When I came to I ran back in the house yelling for my grandma saying Ace got hit by a car over and over again. I couldn’t believe what I had witnessed that night and until this day whenever I think about him that scene comes to mind. Although he survived that night reality of my life in the ghetto had kicked in…
From this day forward I will never lie
My heart is open
Although I’m shy
My eyes once watery
From the many cries
From the failed attempts
At love and silly lies
Won’t admit my hurt
Because of pride
Trying to find different ways to justify
But from now on my hands to the sky
I stare you in the eyes
And I testify
Cross my heart and hope to die
To tell the truth about my life