“Still . . . I Rise!” Maya Angelou

Happy Friday, All!
So … uhhh … “Can I get a T.G.I.F.” out here today, y’all?!!
Yes, it’s still “Black History Month”, “Scrump” is still lying and the “racists” are still “falling out of the wood work” … like roaches!!  Shucks, even here in “Puerto”, as I enjoyed some banana bread French toast and bacon at a public restaurant, a familiar “stateside” racist came up, AFTER I ignored him and spoke to a lady he sat with, and said, “Hey boy!”  I turned slowly away from my French toast and said, “What did you call me?”  He attempted to rebound with an idiotic quasi-funny, mostly stupid “Okay … Man.”  I continued munching on my breakfast while this “roach” stood another moment until I pulled the extra chair out and said, “Sit down.”  He declined, claimed “he” was busy and scurried off … like a roach!
You see, it’s also not my first rodeo being “the new kid on the block”.  This also attracts “bullies”.  People think you don’t know “what you are doing” so they are full of suggestions, threats and warnings.  Well, I have visited places that the average person, not bragging – stating FACTS, will never see.  People always try to make  a town “their place” … that’s what they actually think, that the “place” is theirs … and I need their guidance to get me by.  Imagine, needing the guidance of a town liar or the town bully – NOT ME!  I pride myself on being a “people person”.  In other words, I am able to “get along” with all people.  I try not to waste my energy being friends with a “racist” or a person who says racist things or attempts to treat me as if I “am less than thou”!  Wtf!!!  “Who died and made “you” GOD!”, I often mutter to myself when I hear some of the “know it alls” talking.
Maya Angelou said it best in her poem expressing passionately how “African American” people … women included … shall I add ALL people … STILL RISE in the face of horrifying odds … like being a slave!  Since I have been living here, I have quietly made my way around to meet people.  I say hello to everyone who is interested in speaking.  In fact, on my way from my previous residence as I walked to the ocean each day, I would see these African American women talking together as they sat outside of a lovely one story home.  Soon after I realized that the previous land lord was “overcharging” me for the one room studio at the roof of one of her properties, I started to “ask around”.  That’s something that “we” learned to do in “The Projects” – “ask around”.  To do this, one has to be confident, polite, RESPECTFUL,  and as genuine as possible.  I now occupy a lovely well maintained, two-bedroom “casita” owned by one of the African American (Jamaican descent) women whom I unknowingly spoke to each time I passed by the group chatting.  In fact, last night, “Miss Ana” showed me how to use a one unit “washer/spin dryer” at the bottom of the steps leading up to the sprawling two level home I now occupy!  I thought I had it “made” at the “small studio”!!  Now, for a few hundred dollars more, I have a guest room, a storage space in the attic, as well as a FULL KITCHEN complete with a micro wave, full stove powered by a propane tank, and ALL the dishes a family could use!  You see, when we are genuinely a “good person”, other “good people” can see it.  Keep in mind, the “haters” – you ALL know who you are – will come out of the woodwork … like roaches.  I simply distance myself from “haters” and hope they learn to love themselves, perhaps even KNOW themselves, as much as I know and love myself!
As  we continue our celebration of “Black History Month” stateside, may we remember those little “boys and girls” innocently BLOWN UP in church by racist cowards who felt that “the children’s lives” were less important than theirs …  May those of us “spiritually intelligent” enough to “spread unity, love, respect and coexistence” continue our “work”, which is my passion, to live in harmony!

John I. Cook, Director

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