And the struggles of the brothas and the folks
With lovers under dope, experiment to discover hopes
Scuffle for notes, the rougher I wrote, times was harder
Went from rocky starter to a voice of a martyr
Why white folks focus on dogs and yoga
While people on the low-end trying to ball and get over
Lyrics are like liquor for the fallen soldiers
From the bounce to the ounce, it’s all our culture
Everyday we hustlin’, trying get them custom rims
Law we ain’t trusting them, thick broads we lust in them
Sick and tired of punching in, I look on the bus at them
When I see them struggling, I think how I’m touching them
The People… Ye’ you know how we do, we do it for the people
– The People by Common
As we just celebrated the two-year anniversary of Black Westchester Magazine and the People Before Politics Radio Show, I have had several people ask, why do we do what we do? What keeps us going? What drives us? Lets face it, walking this walk puts a target on your back, when most people try to keep their head low to avoid what comes from speaking up or speaking out. It does not make one the most popular cat. Sure many smile in ya face and shake ya hand when they see you, while cursing you behind ya back and laying and praying for your downfall. Some try to question your credibility, especially when you are speaking truth to power.
When I came back to New York May 2014 to take care of my mom in her last months, I never came up here for all this, it sort of fell in my lap. I didn’t come back to get involved in politics and become a community activist, like Common said, ‘went from rocky starter to the voice of a martyr.’ I could be doing something else more financial rewarding just doing me, like I had done many times in my life, like many people are doing now. I used to write for the Source, the Village Voice and many popular established publications, I could be eating well by creating another entertainment based publication and hip-hop based radio show. but what I noticed something was missing. A Black News Magazine! Hardly no one was speaking up for the people. Everyone was going for self, but no one was fighting for those who couldn’t fight for themselves. No one was giving a voice to the voiceless.
‘The Hunger in they eyes is what seems to feed me.’
Sometimes it takes someone to focus on the needs of others, needs of the people before themselves, putting the people before the politics. So for those who ask what drives me, what keeps us going, why do we do what we do, the answer is simple, WE DO IT FOR THE PEOPLE! Were there times I felt like giving up? Frequently! Were there times I wonder if it’s was really worth it? Often! I even decided I was done a few times. But then amazingly, in those fleeting minutes, that is when people who have no idea what you are wrestling with inside, approach you and thank you for what you are doing. People send message encouraging words on social media from halfway across the world and telling us how important the work we are doing is. Like Common’s lyrics, when you see what your people are going through the hunger in they eyes is what seems to feed me. I’ve seen too many dreams deferred and too many cries gone unheard, so I pick up my pen cause I’m the truth, across the table from corporate lies, immortalized by the realness I bring to it, if revolution had a movie I’d be theme music!
Two years in, I could not quit if I wanted to, I’m too invested. Like hip-hop in my youth, now this is what keeps calling me when I try to walk away. You always hear people saying everyone needs to do their part. They need to step up and speak out. Well I agree, and since I am a writer, this is how I have decided to use my God-given gifts and do what I can. Uplift the people, educate the people, unconsciously inspiring others to do the same. It’s not about me, yeah like I said I could do something more financially rewarding and just worry about me, but it’s about the people, who do not have a voice, being their voice, who can not fight for themselves, fighting for them. It’s about carrying on a long tradition of Black Media in a time where black radio and black media are being silenced and snuffed out.
When I see them struggling, I think how I’m touching them
As we look back, helping those unjustly incarcerated get free, shining a spotlight on police criminality, and officers who violate the policies and procedures they swore to uphold, local law enforcement falsifying search warrant affidavits, exposing politicians who are taking advantage of the people to pad their own pockets, fighting for those whose businesses have been illegally shutdown without due process, showing our people peacefully protesting and calling out the mainstream media for only showing the negative… ‘when I see them struggling, I think how I’m touching them.’
We do this to help change the narrative! We do this to make change! We know can not save everyone, we can not fight for everyone, as a matter of fact for everyone who we do help, there are hundreds more who have no one to turn to that we may not be able to get to. But if we can make a difference in the lives of a few, I think how I’m touching them. While it’s great to stop and celebrate and look at your accomplishments, we understand there is so much more work to do. So instead of sitting on our laurels, we realize it’s time to turn up the heat and go harder. I thank Damon K. Jones for choosing me to take this journey with him in the fight for justice, freedom and equality. It’s times like this when you realize what you are doing does make sense even when it doesn’t always make dollars.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want millions
More than money saved, I wanna save children
Dealing with alcoholism and afrocentricity
A complex man drawn off of simplicity
To all who are reading this I like to take this time to say to you, What Are You Doing For THE PEOPLE. You may not be a writer or be able to discuss the issues on the radio, but we all have a part to play. Like me sometimes when you least expect it, your part, your purpose is revealed to you. When it is, what are you going to do? Play it safe or step out there and do what needs to be done? Some are not meant to be on the front lines and if that is the case then you need to support those who are.
In closing I like to thank all who have supported Black Westchester Magazine and PBP Radio these last two years, we do not take it for granted. We promise to continue to fight and speak truth to power. To be the voice of the voiceless. So again for those who wonder why we do what we do? WE DO IT FOR THE PEOPLE!!!! For those who do not agree or feel what we do, it doesn’t matter because We Keeping Our Eyes On The People, That’s The Prize!
Can’t leave the game alone the streets need me
Hunger in they eyes, is what seems to feed me
Inside peace mixed with beast seem to breed me
Nobody believe, until I believe me
Now I’m on the rise doing business with my guys
Visions realize, my word affecting lives
A gift from the skies, to be recognized
I’m keeping my eyes on the people, that’s the prize