Black Girls Learn Love Hard by Ras Baraka

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I went to this incredible conference called Queen Geniuses founded by Regine Roy at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn on March 18. The whole day was filled with enthusiasm, spirit, passion and an overflowing feeling of inspiration through speeches, workshops and performances. I was truly happy to be there. One of the components of the day included a workshop called “It Really Takes A Village” hosted by black feminist Dequi Kioni-Sadiki. I learned a lot including how the Black Panthers are the reason our kids receive free breakfast in their schools. Towards the end, Kioni-Sadiki shared an empowering poem called “Black Girls Learn Love Hard” by Ras Baraka (Dope poet and the current mayor of Newark, NJ) I fell in love with the difficult truth it portrayed about the struggles of being a black girl. Check out this engaging tale of how hard a black girl loves:

“Black Girls Learn Love Hard”

Black girls learn to love hard, A concrete love

An in spite of love, Even though love

An in between crying love, They learn love hard.

They rush to grade school dodging whistles.

And lewd stares from passing cars of men on their way to work.

They learn vulgarities as compliments

They pretend to get used to being touched when they don’t want to be

And get attention because they are pretty

Everyone wants to feel them, Press up on them

Rub against them, throw them down

Cuss them, Smack them

Penetrate them, Out of love

A be strong love, A hard love to swallow

Young girls sit on stoops and porches, In beauty parlor conversations

Watching their older sisters, With black eyes and bruised self-worth

Learning to be second, And how to hate men and love them.

All in the same sentence…..

Some girls watch their mothers get beat before, Breakfast

And get a ride to school quietly, In their boyfriend’s car

……They carry his drugs, Hold his weapons in their purses

Do time in jail, Fight other girls over our indiscretions

They love hard

Some girls learn to be alone, Some fall in love with crack or wine

And strain their withered brown bodies across the hood, Like a forgotten dream

Some girls met love in the dark while they were still

Vulnerable and small, From a familiar hand in a place they knew

Before they were even virgins, Shaking with terror and confusion

They know love as fear, Something they did to themselves

Love can’t be trusted/it’s ugly and happens to you when

Your back is turned, Love is too hard 

No one remembers that they used to be beautiful, Or smart

Or someone’s daughter, Someone’s sister/friend/a human being

They don’t get to be sweet or gentle, Or cared for

They have to do it alone, No help

……No time for pain or tears……..Black girls learn love hard

They learn sex as dialogue

They reason/their worth/best thing they have to offer

And some start talking at a very young age

They got a “ill na na”

Black girls learn to love hard, A concrete love

An in spite of love, An even though love

An in between crying love

They learn love hard.

Musical Love Match!

Tamera-and-Jordan-slow-jam-the-heartbeat-life

Ahhhhhhh love. It’s a chased after emotion that bring out both the best and the worst in all of us. We fight, cry, scream, but also smile, laugh and take in the essence of someone who causes our hearts to beat ten times faster than normal. At times, it’s difficult to describe the wonders of what love can bring. However, there have been many different musical artists who have been able to do just that. Here on the Heartbeat Life, we have complied a short list of r&b artists who beautifully mesh together and who have made us swoon over their creative gift of capturing love into their sound.

Chris Brown and Tinashe/Sevyn Streeter: Chris Brown has had many different collabs with a variation of artists whether it be David Guetta or Tyga. However, he has also made beautiful sensual music with R&B newbies Tinashe and Sevyn Streeter that take us on a fun ride of love. In “Player,” the chemistry between Tinashe and Brown is so evident, you would fan yourself from the sizzling fire between them. But based on style, innovation and tone, Streeter and Brown also make a dynamic duo in their pop induced, rhythm and blues flavored sound.

Avant and Keke Winans: Don’t even get me started on them. Their voices together is the definition of love. Their earth shattering sound in “First Love” brings back or even creates the insistent stomach activity of butterflies fluttering around at the first signs of the most desired four letter word in the world.

Usher and Alicia Keys: Their song together will always have you thinking about your first. Cherished memories are uncovered when listening to “My Boo.” One can’t help but reach out their hand and have it drenched in the wake of warmth from that person who started it all.

Tamia and Fabulous: Though Fabulous is a rapper, this combo just gives one the feels. Every time it comes on and Tamia starts -“I think you’re truly something special. Just what my dreams are really made of. Let’s stay together you and me boy. There’s no one like you around,” it makes me want to melt into the floor from just how “fabulous” this tune truly is.

Usher and Monica – OMG!!! Do you remember that episode of “https://www.youtube.com/embed/r9WxDQSnAcU“>Sister, Sister”? Yes!!! Let’s take it back. This track “Slow Jam” is a classic which will stay imprinted in the our hearts in how much of  a sweet musical masterpiece it is.

There are many more like R.L. and Deborah Cox or Justin Timberlake and Beyonce that leave an imprint in our brains for how these artists intertwine their incredible voices to make magic. Over the last few years, the art form has made its transitions. However, we will never forget the tunes that reminded us of what love feels like.

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!  Hope you are all spending it with those you love or by spending time loving you.

 

 

Wild Dreams

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A princess slowly glides down a spiraling stairway. Her prince awaits her below. Everything around is a heavenly glow of white embracing the two in a majestic moment of warmth. The princess continues to make her way until she reaches a full on gaze of her savior. The man ready to capture her heart is an image of perfection at best. Donned out in an all white uniform, he takes her by the hand and leads her to the dance floor. Her heart is full she moves along gracefully with her prince. A lovely sound of classics delightfully drums out a tune enhancing the purity of the moment. After they dance, the prince guides her to a piano and places the soft sounds pattering out from above. She warms her arms around him and feels the uttermost pang of security.

But then she wakes up and realizes that it was all but a dream. Her heart breaks a little in the overwhelming feeling of truth that her prince charming was just an imagination cooked up from her wild mind.

It’s sometimes hard to come to terms with reality. A sweet pipe dream for romance can be the drive that pushes us to a beautiful happy ending. Being swept away by a prince charming or even an enchanting princess feels like the goal for romance. However, that’s all it is, just romance. We must remember that real love brings the good and the bad, the pain and the passion, the setbacks and the breakthroughs.

Fairy tales paint this vision of perfection that is both breath taking, but also disappointing. Embrace the truth in real love and let it mold you. For we are human beings and we are so beautifully flawed.

 

I Got You by Ciara

If you’re not gushing from the absolute adorableness beaming from Ciara’s “I Got You,” then there is something wrong with you. Seriously, I think you need to get your head examined. My goodness, Ciara literally must have dipped this into her heart because it is oozing with love and compassion. The clips of her and her oh-too-cute son will keep a permanent smile on your face all throughout. You will truly witness the unconditional joy and love this new mother has for her child through the lyrics and visuals. If you never wanted a child, this four minute clip just might change your mind.

 

Next Life Time by Erykah Badu

When we’re lucky enough, love finds us. Once it grabs us for a wild ride, we want to hold on as tight as we can. But the roller coaster of love takes some for a real dip when someone else comes into the picture. Your heart is split when there’s two trying to own it. The lovely Badu takes on this journey in her classic track “Next Lifetime.” She sticks to the first man who has her heart, but offers the other another chance in a different world, a different time. The gentle sway of the light beat plays along with her pleasing rasp of a voice. It tells the story of the chemistry that erupts from her other even though the flames of her current haven’t been put out. Many have claimed to be gripped by this confusing situation. Listening to it in her eloquent form can ease the memories just a bit.

Made to Love by John Legend

There’s like an explosion of naked bodies taking over our music industry. Lately, it seems like every popular video not only exploits raw sexuality, it embraces it. It’s a trend that’s growing during this strange cool of this summer. Yet, the amazing fact that remains is that every artist still manages to make the video their own. John Legend uses nudity in an artistic splash of creativity in “Made to Love.” The ephemeral forms smashed together in a lover’s enclosure shows their firm bond. The occasional clapping, drums, and unearthly but human calls create a collection of something free and undefinable; quite like the nature of love. The intense artistic splashes of vibrant hues blends beautifully with this striking piece of audio. Feel the raw nature of being a creature made to love below.

Mirrors by Justin Timberlake

“Mirrors” has entered the eardrums of the young and the old humbling and speaking to their hearts in a beautiful harmony of truth. This eight minute plus song is such a lovely masterpiece that showcases the evolution of Justin’s unique and impressive sound. The lyrics, the interplay of instruments and computer sounds and the transition from intensity to tranquil grace is a well packaged treasure Mr. Suit & Tie has prepared for us. I will be getting The 20/20 Experience as soon as I possible. I hope this song is able to touch you in many ways as it has touched mine. Enjoy the track below.