The Ramblings Inside My Creative Mind: I Am He and He is Me

         It's that time of year again. That time that I dread. Every June 17th since 2016 I'm forced to relive the day that changed my life forever. The day I lost my dad. I'll never get over the universe's sick joke of taking him two days before Father's Day. Every year I get gut punched twice. "Hello, Asia here's the day your father died. Oh, and here's the day set aside to celebrate him." Thanks, universe! Thank you so much for that precious memory.
       This year it feels slightly heightened with everything that's happening in the world. Thinking of George Floyd's daughter spending her first father's day without one. Knowing that Rayshard Brooks' daughters are about to feel the same as I do. I wonder if they were daddy's girls like me. That's the hardest. I crumbled at the age of 33 losing mine. I couldn't imagine him being ripped from me before even reaching high school age. That's why this year it hits different.
        My dad was the one who tried to educate me about the injustices we face. I heard, but never listened. I was a kid. None of that had to do with me. That was all in the past, right? That's what naive innocent me thought. My dad knew better and he made sure I knew better. Like him I use my voice. I speak out and I stand up. In that he lives in me. He stood up for what he believed in. He said it with heart and he said it with force. I try to channel that in when I speak. The strength to fight for what's right.
        My father taught me about my ancestors. That started my love for autobiographies and history books. While every other kid wanted to read ghost stories or fiction I was in the library every week picking out books of black icons from Ida B. Wells to Marian Anderson to Jackie Robinson. I was forever learning. That thirst for knowledge didn't come from school. That came from William Anderson.
        He is the first black man I have ever loved and he was a great example of a caring, creative, knowledgeable, strong individual. I happy to be a part of him. I am more than happy to carry on his voice. I will be elated the day that I can have a child and pass on everything he ever was and everything that I am to the next generation of Andersons'. That would be my greatest honor.
         Still every June 17th I hurt and shut down. I still find myself trying to make sense of something that is and will always be a part of life. Still... Still I can't help but ask why. Four year later I still grieve. Time does heal some wounds but never all. I wish he could've made it this year to see me graduate. I wish he had made it to 2018 to know that there was a possibility that he'd be a grandfather. All of these milestones and the ones to come have an empty spot there. I know he's there for all those moments. I know that the grandchild that almost was is there with him now. The could've, should've, would'ves are all empty because that's not how life was supposed to go, unfortunately. No matter the hurt this is what the universe had planned. It's awful and it sucks, but this is what it is. That's the way life is. I'm thankful to have had him as long as I did.
         My father is gone, but never ever forgotten. I am he.

- Asia Aneka Anderson, 2020(c)

A Look Inside My Creative Mind: No Longer A Token

        **LATE POST** This is my most recent and latest video. I'm discussing the friendships I've kept in my past where more often than not I ended up being the token black friend. I'm making boundaries in my life and putting my foot down as far as letting macro and micro aggressions go unchecked in my life. I have to hold the people in my life accountable, and most importantly, myself.

A Look Inside My Creative Mind: I'm Fed Up

        **LATE POST** I initially made this video for Instagram, but I had a lot to get off of my chest with yet another black man killed for no reason. I posted it on my channel and forgot to make a post here on the site.

The Ramblings Inside My Creative Mind: We Would Never Sleep and You'd Still Never Get It

         In the wake of George Floyd's death and recent protests there is one question that rings in my head. It's a question that was asked of me by a former coworker around the time of the murder of Trayvon Martin. The question was something to the effect of "When things like this happen why does one story get more coverage than another?" Although that question annoyed me because it was the first of many times that a white friend would look to me to be their guide in racial injustice who assumed that somehow I knew all the answers to everything black and also because... How in the hell am I supposed to know?! I'm not CNN. Still that question sticks with me today because it was, in a way, a valid question. Why does that happen?
         I've realized that anytime news breaks of a George Floyd, or a Sandra Bland, or a Tamir Rice there are always little side stories that emerge that quickly get lost in the smoke. For instance a week after the murder of Mr. Floyd CNN ran a piece about a man named Javier Ambler the III. He is most likely the reason the popular show Live PD was just canceled because Mr. Ambler was murdered while their cameras were rolling. A story that got lost in the smoke even though a popular cable show may have been there to film his death. This was in March of 2019 and was only spoken about in mere minutes almost 15 months later.
        I now have one theory, among many which would be way more obvious, as to why a lot of stories go unheard. Of course a lot has to do with it perhaps not being filmed and no witnesses, but I also feel that if we were to hear about every single one that's all the news would be. In three months time we've heard about the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd. Think of the amount of people in between that are in small backwoods towns that were murdered, the ones that don't get filmed, the ones that are marked as missing and presumed dead. If we were to hear every one of these stories that's all we'd see on the news and up and down our newsfeeds. Just endless black death. That's how often this is happening. Yet still there comes no justice. In the past week two (or three, because again this happens so often that one often, and sadly, loses track) men have been found hanging from trees. Today a young activist was found murdered days after tweeting about being sexually assaulted. It goes on and on. Absolutely endless. 
       The thing is even if every news outlet covered every story or every case of injustice would you still hear it? Would you still be determined to say "All lives matter" in response to "Black lives matter"? Would you try to learn about systemic oppression? Would you listen to women tell their stories of assault? Would you still deflect and speak about black on black crime? Would you still deny your privilege? Would you still keep your eyes closed when presented with endless black death? Because the sad truth is.... a lot of you would. This is why we march, we vote, we scream, we fight. 

-Asia Aneka Anderson, 2020

Whyte Noise: The Sound Of Silence

Loud silence
Fleeting solidarity
We can take no more
12:00 a.m. a new day 
Back to your regularly scheduled program
Post your lattes
Your DIYs
And your kids
Another generation unable to speak
Seasoned with a pic of a vibrant sunrise
While cropping out the burning streets below
Your privilege allowing you to lift your veil
While we are still shrouded in darkness
Yet your laziness expects me to be your guiding light
Ah, I love the sound of white silence in the morning
Your sudden screams of deflection
"Omg look at the thugs looting"
Followed by our tired sighs
"Omg look at the white guys in disguise
Who break and destroy
Only to run away when the heat starts to rise"
We'll be right back to your regularly scheduled program of tone deafness
Ill timed quotes
MLK with a side of Gandhi and a dash of John Lennon
A little James Baldwin if you nasty
You're so woke
Then your loud and proud "buts"
Drowning out the voices of the unheard
"Stop! I'm being oppressed"
"That black man wants me to follow the rules"
Oh, the humanity
Clutch of the pearls
You master of oppression, you
Silence while you steal black culture and loot black lives
You praise the style and moves Justin Timberlake
As if Usher didn't do it back in '98
Pay the copycat
And when the people whose culture you stole asks you to have their back
Just do the minimum
Give yourself a pat on the back
Then turn the sound down 
And bring the silence back (Yeah!)
Appropriators don't know how to act
Change the channel
Another murder porn is on
A world premiere
Then you begin to sing your favorite songs
"Well He Must've Done Something Wrong"
"We Don't Have the Full Story"
And the #1 smash hit
"He Didn't Comply"
Outage ensues
Another moment of silence
Followed by a rerun of the tone deaf chronicles
#AllLivesMatter 20/20 special edition
Meanwhile mere objects are more valuable than mine 
Did you say that TV was $599 and designer handbags worth hundreds?
That sounds pretty steep when compared to the price black life
Target becomes your importance
Over the target on my back
Proof all lives do not matter
If my value is less than that of a coat rack
You kneel not in solidarity
But instead on the neck of our existence
Mother's without sons
Father's bury daughters
We can take no more
But I'm sorry
Did we interrupt your baseball game with a revolution?
There it is again
The deafening silence
I'll let you get back to your regularly scheduled program

-Asia Aneka Anderson, "Whyte Noise: The Sound of Silence" 2020(c)

A Look Inside My Creative Mind: Grieving the Unknown

         **LATE POST** I uploaded my latest video to my channel a week ago, or more. It took me a while because with the new layout of blogger it would never populate my video even if I searched it with the link. I had to go back to the old style of Blogger to do so (That would've been helpful if I had known that a week ago).
          In my latest video (which I've labeled with a **trigger warning**) I'm discussing a loss that I've written about several times before. I recorded this video the day after what would've been my baby's first birthday. I'm discussing my grieve process from that moment of miscarriage to even now as I still try to navigate my way through life after expecting it to change in such a great monumental way.