Channel Zero

“If you’re not careful the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing” – Malcolm X

Y’all, for the past week I have been trying to write something about the countless incidents in America that the media has shown us of police officers murdering Black people. I was angry, but I had not articulated it before. I thought I had it last night though, especially after watching Trevor Noah. He’s black and I was black, so he knew what I was thinking, right? I was ready to hit submit and post it to this page, but my writing just felt incomplete.

If you have read anything else from me, you know that I take my art seriously. I will not waste your time nor my platform to offer a piece of regurgitated, shallow, false narration. I refuse to do the work of the puppet master. My work serves to represent for Basquiat and Sister Badu and they wouldn’t go out like that. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I couldn’t feel it rolling down my eyes and I didn’t make the blog cry, so I hadn’t delivered a message from my parents. Universal Love and Courageous Perseverance were my genetic donors, but Unrelenting Ego and White Noise kept trying to adopt me.

I slept on it. All that being woke wore me out anyway. As I rested, Venus descended into my bedroom and hovered eloquently over my back. Using only her breath, she moved my beautifully twisted hair away from my ears. I think she was allergic to something because she sneezed, and I was awakened. The sneeze left the wetness of love on the side of my face and it rolled into my eyes. Since I was up now, I decided to grab my cellular device to see what joys the world of social media held for me. At first, my vision was blurry from that esoteric moisture, so I had to put on my rose-colored glasses to read. There was a message. “Sister, do not forget who you are. The media will have you…”, well y’all know the rest. The deliverer was not Brother Malcolm, but Brother George, one of my social media friends, and fellow artist. His art was tattoos, but when you spoke the language of the ancestors it the results were always the same.

As I read the note meant only for me, I choked a little. Godmother had infected my system with the antidote to my ignorance and I was alerted to what was missing. There was no love, no acknowledgement of my connection to humanity. My deepest truths were not in the content of my written confessions.
Originally, I asserted that I had been in a constant state of fear for my son because he was a Black man in America. In my initial scribblings, I explored how my concern was more for my one son than my four daughters. I spoke of Maurice as a victim and my passion project, and myself as his only savior and protector. All of that was bullshit, total malarkey, mere recitations from my oppressors. All the information I had neatly placed on paper was from the curriculum of the College of Self-Destruction, and not what the soul of me knew to be true. There was no connection from my heart to the pen and thus no translation into humanity for me to share.

I have always carried with me the knowledge of who I am. I am Isis, wife, mother, and sister who can not be defeated. The goddess who took her broken brother, patiently picked up all the pieces of him, and made him whole again. My brother, Osiris, was a king in Egypt and when he descended into the pits of the underworld of Any Ghetto, America, he ruled that with brutal, graceful dominance. It was not my purpose on this planet to accept a place at the soles of defeat, but to always exemplify and glorify love. I was my brother’s keeper. I used my wings, not to fly above others in the winds of sorrow and self-pity, but to scout for the broken and help put them back together again. My people just needed time to rejuvenate themselves. My love taught Horus to service humanity with passion and adoration.

I was not afraid until the media told me I was. Warriors have not ever wrapped themselves in the weak coverings of doubt and fear because that was a sure path to destruction. Maurice was not an example of the racist practices of a sick nation. Maurice was not a movement. Maurice was himself, just as we all are. He was not to be protected because he is endangered, but to be empowered to rebuke aggressors. “There’ a war going on outside, no man is safe from…” -Prodigy of Mobb Deep. I have always wanted justice and peace and have always moved to those ends. My son, my daughters, your sons, your daughters all need to be taught to swim in the vast oceans of abundance that have been left to us by our ancestors. I have sought to understand and then, and only then, to be understood. I was not afraid. I will do no harm, but I will take no shit.

I submit myself to you in peace and love,


Author: Claudia L. Shivers

I am a Mom. A grandmother. An entrepreneur. A Social Justice Advocate. A Community Leader. A Social Capital Builder. A Truth Teller.

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