How I see It

Posts tagged ‘People’

i USED to

I used to infuse you into my fantasy,

         A PHENOMENAL future.large
         One where we’d FLAUNT and FLOAT, on clouds of FINESSE,
         Our heads held HIGH in six-inch HEELS and HAUTE couture,
         And CONFIDENCE to make {them} quiver.
         I would be QUEEN and you would be QUEEN.
         Our REIGN would be indivisible,
and w
e would DOMINATE this world of money, men, and matters of the heart.

***

Key words; “used to, infuse you”.
The fantasy is the same, but void of you.

Everyday People – Oct. 13th 2016

I have met Mr. David Pasquantonio a handful of times.

He always has the most charming smile that reaches his eyes.

He looks no taller than 5’11 and has dusty brunette hair with gray strands that are evidence of his late 40s.

Today, he walked to my concierge desk and we played a game of catch-up. Ok fine, we didn’t really play that game. Still, it was very cute that he tried so hard to remember my name, while I tried to remember his unit number to sign out his mail delivery.

The first time I met him, I was sitting in for the regular evening concierge at his building. He walked in all smiles and said “I haven’t seen you here before. Are you new?” I smiled at him and answered all his questions. When I told him my name, his face lit up! “That’s such a beautiful name! My wife and I actually considered naming our baby girl Gabriella.” While I’m used to people admiring my name, I have never had anyone tell me they actually wanted to give their child the name. I know there are thousands of Gabriellas in the world but it still felt special. I’ll never forget the tale of how after much deliberation, he and his wife settled on another just as beautiful, if not more beautiful name. “That’s O.K. though, because now we already know what our next little girl’s name will be.” he said.

Shout out to all the Gabriellas out there!

His easy spirit, friendliness and genuine personality are what caught my attention. He showed me photos of his little girl, several photos – one of her sleeping next to her mom, another of her smiling and another in which she had the cutest funny face, just to cite a few. I saw in his eyes, an unmistaken pride. A genuine father’s joy.

He came home from work tonight and when he stopped by my desk, I could see the exhaustion in his eyes, yet his smile never wavered. I knew just what would bring him to life even more. I asked about his daughter. He lit up! “I’ll show you a photo. You’re gonna find this really funny.” He practically laughed through the words and proceeded to explain the backstory of the most adorable baby picture I’ve ever seen in my entire life.

This man to me is a representation of the good American dream. He’s a happy father, loving his wife and child and working hard everyday for them. He genuinely looks happy to come home every night to the life he’s built for himself.

I want to be like Mr. Pasquantonio when I grow up.

P.S. I knew he’d be cool. I mean come on, even his last name is cool! And now, I won’t forget it again.

-Gabriella A.

Everyday People – August 30th 2016

I met Robert Adams today. He’s a tall African American man with dread locks that reach the small of his back, pulled in a low ponytail. When I first walked into the historic looking high-rise building on Vermont avenue NW, Washington DC, he greeted me with charm and eloquence. He had been typing an email.

“Hold on a second, I’ll finish this email and I can be out of your way”. Just a moment later, he asked – looking down at his computer screen; “So are you in school? Or…” I smiled and told him my education spiel and how I’m working a new job now in addition to this concierge gig (updates about this in a new blog coming soon).

In the few minutes we talked, I found out he’s been playing guitar for 40 years.

“OMG that’s crazy cause I sing too!”, I said, gushing as he pulled his guitar from under the concierge desk and put it in its bag.

“Well then, you should come to our Live Music Monday shows in Silver Spring” he said, the sound of his guitar bag zipper subtle but noticeable as he spoke.

For a moment, I did consider it. I mean, I’ve been thinking about a venue where I can sing with a live band and just have a relaxed time on stage, sharing this gift that God bestowed upon my vocal pipes. As I processed his invitation, he pulled out a card and handed it to me. I looked at the card thinking; I’ll keep this. Maybe one of these evenings. Who Knows? 

“I wanna learn to play. I bought a guitar once, and my fingers just wouldn’t cooperate.

“Hah! see? You know what they say… when the student is ready, the teacher will appear”, he said in response. I smiled at his subtle invitation be my teacher.

A few minutes later, his girlfriend came down to meet him in the lobby for their lunch date. As she stepped out of the building, he stayed back, pulled out a black newsboy hat, the kind with extra room for long locks like Bob Marley’s, and he put it on.

In that moment, I saw the artist in the man. He had gone from a suited up, prim and polished look, to an approachable lover of the arts, just by adding a hat and removing his name brooch.

When he finally stepped out to meet his woman, no sooner had they taken 3 steps before he extended his left hand and placed it on the small of her back; a gesture of protection, and affection. I smiled in admiration as they disappeared down the rather quiet street.

I met Robert Adams today and I saw the meaning of simple happiness. I saw love, passion, art, and life in his eyes and heard them in the words he spoke. It was my pleasure Mr. Adams, and maybe I’ll visit and listen to your show one of these Mondays.

 

I Have No Words

I want to say so many things regarding black people and white police, brutality, racial profiling.

July 5th; Alton Sterling is shot, in the chest, at close range, while pinned to the ground by two officers.

July 6th, Philando Castile is shot, while his four-year-old daughter watches from the backseat of the car. His girlfriend streams his pain live for the world to see.

I have so much grief to express, so many tears I’ve shed.

But I have no words.

Here’s what a poet friend of mine; Jason Nkwain, wrote in response to these incidents.

Jason's Poem

And here’s art by Laolu Senbanjo, that tells a story. It’s the story of what today’s America is like for we blacks.

Laolu's Art

I’m left to grieve for the world, speechless. What can we do? What haven’t we done? What did we ever do?

-Gabriella Aka

We Must Fight

I have a question….

Disclaimer: this question might be considered offensive to some folk.
P.S, it is not intended to spark hate or be offensive, it is intended to spark conversation…

Ok so here’s my question… If given the chance in today’s America or perhaps today’s world, for black people to enslave white people the way they did blacks during slavery, would Black people do it?

Our wounds are deep and our scars will never fade. The history can never be forgotten. But will hurting the ones who hurt us make the pain go away? Will holding on to this pain somehow make our struggles less of a burden?

This is what I say. I say the only way to beat racism is to take our wounds, our scars, our history, and make it beautiful. It’s to rise up to excellence and be majestic and unapologetic about who we are.

We are a people, stronger than chains or beatings, stronger than plantation farms or forced labour. Stronger than abuse or insult. We are strong even when we are at our weakest.

So while we can never forget who we are because we will carry our scars until the end of time, we can also not live in perpetual hate and limit our possibilities. We must not find every excuse to relive our torture, to blame, even though the blame is very justified.

We must wear our scars with pride, and March in strength to excellence, for the strong were born to fight!! We must fight!

Happy Fourth America!

Our Path To Greatness Gala

Last Sunday (May 22, 2016) I had the privilege to attend a gala fundraiser hosted by the Non-Profit organization Our Paths To Greatness. The reason for this fundraiser was to provide affordable education and other resources to Makoko village in Nigeria. This village, suspended over a body of water has over 85 thousand inhabitants, who fish as a primary source of living. The village only has one school for the thousands of children who inhabit the area. optg-infographic-d

OPTG aims to provide oportunities for “underserved africans, equipping them with the skills and resources to compete in their communities and the world, through investments in education, enrichment in arts and culture as well as various projects to aid communities in need”.

I had the opportunity to perform (back up) with Tosinger, a Nigerian folk singer and story teller who uses her art as a means to shed light on African culture and life.

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Left to Right: Gabriella and Tosinger attend the OPTG Gala

I also met with Laolu Senbanjo, a lawyer turned body paint artist who has made a name for himself as the guy who worked with the models in Beyonce’s Lemonade video, and now has a design contract with Nike.

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Left to Right: Laolu Senbanjo and Gabriella at the OPTG Gala

I was accompanied by a few of my fellow Legacy House Inc. members. Jason Nkwain, a poet and Leslie Njuakom, our financial secretary. Legacy House Inc. Is in its beginning stages of creation but we have been around for almost 4 years. Our mission is to expose african Art of any form (music, dance, literature, fine arts, etc ), to mainstream media.

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Left to Right: Jason Nwain, Leslie Njuakom and Gabriella attend the OPTG Gala

I learned so much from being around like-minded indivuduals who strive to excell at what they do and move Africa forward. This gala reminded me of a few things:

a. Keep doing what you love to do. You will see your hardwork come to fruition soon.
b. Do your best to give back. There is never nothing to give. We each have something to offer.
c. Enjoy life. At the risk of sounding cliché, I say we only live once and we must make the best of every moment and recognize how blessed we are each day.

Happiness is a choice. Live life, No Worries.

 

Diverse

Diverse: The perfect way to EMPHASIZE difference while seemingly being accepting of it.

Diverse like who?

Like black or white? Like brown or pale? Like light-skinned or charcoal dark? Like heavy-set or skinny-bod? Like tall or small? Like smart or dumb? Like rich or poor?

Diverse like how?

Like Muslim or Christian? Like believers or atheists? Like church or club? Like Gospel or secular? Like priest or pastor? Like sinner or saved?

Diverse like when?

Like communism or capitalism, like democrat or republican? Like Monarchy or Anarchy?

Truth: The safety of the familiar, the skepticism of the diverse.