Sunday, December 25, 2011

"I Made It Through It All Part.2"

So I introduced this amazing young man, Nookie, aka, Cartavius from Sunflower, Mississippi in an earlier post. That day we recorded some audio and a little video, so this is my attempt at being somewhat of an NPR reporter. Cue music. Listen carefully and Enjoy! More to come!

We started talking about what he'd do if he got a bunch of money from his music...

Part 4. "What We Got Out Here?"

Part 5: "I could be a's just the way I talk."

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

"I Made It Through It All" part 1.

Meet Nookie aka Cartavius, a 17 year old from Sunflower, MS. He didn't graduate from the local high school, but he did attend it at one point. This picture is of him sitting on a bench in the small town of Sunflower, where there's "nothing" to do. Based on his clothes, his laid back, sort of robotic sounding voice and the fact that he didn't graduate from Ruleville High like most of his friends, you might conclude as I did, that he got into trouble and just never finished, basically his future isn't too bright. That's where we'd both be dead wrong.


1) Nookie (pronounced like Nook, not Nuke)was homeschooled starting last year and actually graduated high school in November from a home school network in Greenwood.

2) He's probably the best lyricist I've heard in a long time.

3) He's been speaking wisdom since he was five (according to his grandma.)

He's only 17 and in terms of the "opposition [he] has faced, he's "made it through it all."

Once you hear some of his music, I think you'll agree that his future is as bright and clear as the sky above him. Audio and video are coming soon.

Let's make it happen,


The Heaviest Bookbag

I said I was gonna post this, so I am. I wrote it probably in 2002, my third year in college, when I was really going through some challenges that ultimately were trans-formative.

Side note, for those who are too young to know or too old to remember, "single straps from the gap" were pretty popular in the 2000-2003, for a number of reasons that guys loved. They also came with this pouch in the front for a cell phone, which was also becoming a big deal, but not as big of deal at the Motorola Two Way Pager, especially the Jay-Z blue one. Lol. Enjoy.


The Heaviest Bookbag

Sometimes I feel like I have the heaviest bookbag on campus
filled with my books, my papers, and stuff for class
and work and tutoring and writing.

Sometimes I'll be walking and I'll be like damn,
what do I have all this stuff for?
Half of it I don't even need
and most of it I don't even want
but i carry it anyway.

I looked inside one time and I was like damn,
how did all this stuff get in here?
And then I remembered that I packed it myself
but the suggestions of others have made me wonder
how much of what I carry is really mine
and more importantly, is really necessary

But I still feel these obligations
to what I don't know or own
sometimes I feel like I'm the only one with my kind of bookbag
because Jansports, Eastpaks and single straps from the Gap
aren't designed to carry this kind of weight.

I could have swore that I bought it from the store
and the tag on the inside said "not to exceed 50 lbs"
Why is it then that I carry this bag all the time everyday
feeling like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders?


Monday, December 19, 2011


is what we're on the brink of and you're not alone in it.

Michael Jackson, You Are Not Alone.
I actually heard this song when during the summer of 1995 I believe it was, we had just moved to New Bern. It was my mom, little sister, big brother, and myself because my dad had to stay up in New York and sell our house and continue to work to support the family. I hated the idea of moving and when you're going from New York City to New Bern, while they both say "New," I couldn't help but feel this was about to get old...real quick.

In town of retirees, river front property, Tryon Palace, and most importantly 24,000 people who all had known each other since birth it seemed, there was no shortage of places I could go to not fit in and get that great feeling of being on the edge of what's cool, but still being forced to sit outside of the circle of trust (thanks Robert Deniro's character in Meet the Parents that I can't remember the name nor do I want to take time to look up)every day at 11:10am for 1st run lunch.

That year was spent figuring out a lot of things or at least trying to, which I big part of the process I guess. Things like "I thought I was a decent looking guy, how come I can't get any girls to pay me attention," "Why do these same two white girls in my biology class keep saying we should form a study group when all three of us are making A's already? "This girl, Shante' is a perfect match for me, we're both smart, articulate, and have great parents. How come she won't pay me the least bit of attention?" and finally "If I wear a sea green Nautica button down (to the mid chest) collarless short-sleeve shirt and my loose-fit still new looking black levi's 570's, can I still wear my navy blue nike air xtreme flight's?" I figured that one out pretty quickly and the answer is YES...I least no one has said anything about it yet...

This often helped me get through that first summer and year, shout to my brother and Josh for sitting with me at the lunch table.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

So many things to do...

So, I once wrote a poem called "The Heaviest Bookbag." I'll share at a later date, but it asks the question about the source, the weight, and the reasoning behind the things we "carry."

With a limited about of time and strength in this life, I'm starting to realize that it's really important, respectful, and considerate to give some serious thought to what we decide to put in our bookbags, pack in our suitcases, and carry on our shoulders.

Until next time...


Also, here's some motivation in the meantime:
Don't Let Me Fall, B.o.B.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Random Thoughts

Being this is how I normally think and have decided to write, I figured we'd start off with this post:

  • There is already a blog titled, unfortunately nothing is up there so i had to use this one
  • I think there is incredible opportunity (for everything) in rural areas, especially the Mississippi Delta
  • Hip Hop artists who have inspired me include, but aren't limited to: B.o.B, T.I., Talib Kweli, J.Cole, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Common, 50 Cent, Eminem, Lil Wayne, Lupe Fiasco, LL Cool J, Canibus!!! (just thought of him, thus the exclamation marks) and...
  • I have to fix some things at my house
  • The Sunflower County Freedom Project is an incredible youth leadership organization, that is literally changing lives, a community, and people's concept of what's possible and how it can be done.
  • Frontline Solutions is a business that inspires me, it's great to see someone want to do something and then actual have the courage to do it.
  • Really listen to this song and be inspired: then check out this video: and make make something happen.
  • I'm a little hungry, but I think that I've eaten enough today.

Let's make it happen,