Technology and globalization: Where have our neighborhoods gone?

It’s not only about gentrification. But we are much more comfortable around those we are familiar with. How then do we grow as humans? This is where communities play an important role. Continue reading

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Language, thoughts, life

In the past month since I’ve posted, I’ve been elated with joy and beauty and then disheveled and broken. I’ve felt every emotion from love, angry, betrayal, denial, sadness, loneliness… so many emotions.

There is one thing that I’ve been paying attention to, maybe not perfectly, but paying attention to nonetheless; the words I use.

I found it terribly important to speak what I meant, and communicate in a manner that did not tear another soul down. So often insults and hate filled speech roll off our tongues and we don’t even blink an eye to them.

What does my opinion of someone have to do with ANYTHING to the point where I would speak negatively about them? Could you imagine if we got a wrinkle each time we speak badly of someone? Or gained a pound of weight?

I think in a way, we do. We send that energy, those vibrations out into the world, never to come back, only to radiate. But because we said it, we acknowledge it and we live it. That’s the problem. Why live in a world where your words tear others down? Why think negatively of someone? Especially when it’s superficial or opinions about someone?

Before you start gossiping about someone, before you start tearing another person down think of what those words could mean to you if you. Why do you feel that way about the person in the first place? Why do you believe that what you are saying is O.K. to be spoken?

Negative thoughts can enter our consciousness, but it is each of us who allow them to become thoughts and words. Think of how you could turn that language around to words that could encourage that person, or words that could change your perspective about that person.

Or, you could simply worry about yourself. You could deal with the negative thoughts and words that you create about yourself.

There’s that.

If what you said about someone else would make you furious if you heard someone say it about your child/mother/brother/father/husband/wife, maybe you shouldn’t say it at all.

Speak love into the world. Speak light into the world.

One word at a time.

 

With love and gratitude,

JB

 

Another one

If you know me, you know I talk and sing about love often.

Romantic, platonic, familial, self, overwhelming – whatever kind of love it might be, I like to explore it.

I woke up this morning, the last day of winter break before classes begin tomorrow, in a small bed in a small apart in a small town. I woke up with the need, the desire to help people work through what love means to them on different levels and through different spaces in our lives.

As an educator of college-aged young minds, I find there to be a responsibility in making them think. It is not just about me giving answers, or me telling them my prospective, but how do I share moments with them, in hope that they can learn to think and express their thoughts? My first idea is that we must share in a safe space our likes, dislikes, opinions and perspectives. A friend and I speak often about music and good vs. bad, if there is a good vs. bad and what it all means. The one word that comes up so often is context. Everything in life happens in context. As an artist, some feel context should matter, some feel it shouldn’t. As a Black mixed Woman in the United States, context always plays a role in my day to day.

Love, for me, is accepting and honoring EVERYTHING about what it is you love. I love Black People. I love my Black culture. That means ALL of it, some stuff that I may find distasteful, some stuff I secretly bump to, but cannot let all my circles know, some stuff I praise unknowingly and some that you can’t tell me not to like! I love my curly hair. Not everyday do I like it, not everyday is it perfect, but those should not matter when it comes to love.

If I love you, it, that, him, she, they… whatever it is, my goal is to never degrade or dishonor that in which I love. I may not agree, I may not like, I may loathe something about it, but that does not mean stop loving it.

Loving something means helping it be its best, for itself, not for anyone or anything else. But this means, whatever you love, whoever you love has to know what’s best for it. This means, there has to be an honoring and a self love and appreciation that happens. Quiet times, educational times, exploring times, fun times, relaxing times, hard times; We are multi-faceted, life is not a straight path. You cannot expect to behave the same in every situation. You cannot expect everyone who you love to behave like you. You cannot expect everyone to love you. (Whatever you is at this point, place in any noun with the word “you”)

Love is a word. This word is used in so many ways. I just looked up the meaning of this word at dictionary.com-I have to say I did not love the definitions. Be careful how you use it. Context is important, so is intent.

Love, to me, is an idea, an action. With it, we can change the world, we can change our worlds. With it, we have the power to be better than ever imagined. It’s just about understanding it.

What is love to you? How do you express it? What is something that you love? What is something you don’t like about the thing that you love?

With love,

JB

“She Knew” A short story

As I’ve been listening to the album (which will be out SO SOON), and thinking about what I want to say about all the injustice in the world, I decided to try my hand at a narrative with my album and my screen play, “Parisian Dreamin”. Each character will have their own story, and the songs will also go with the stories. Here is the first, “She Knew”. Subscribe to our mailing list to get each short story and more updates about the album and all other things soul nerd! 


This day hadn’t meant anything to Akiva in several years. After getting back from Paris, working with her aunt for the Black Paris uprising, and coming back, immediately working in Baltimore, she knew. She knew that something was going to happen. She didnt know it would take this long, but she could feel something boiling under the surface. All the tell tale signs; Twitter had been set ablaze in the past couple days, people fighting in the streets for weeks, clashing with the police, it’s happening.

As she sat up in her bed she looked to her left and remembered him. He was so alive, so passionate about life and about freedom. He enjoyed good food, good music and great sex. Akiva rubbed the pillow and turned away. When would she see him again?  She didn’t know if it would be behind bars, or hanging from a tree. All she knew was her fight was to make his capture not in vain.

She turned on the t.v. and saw that the tanks were coming in.

After years and years of doing this and working with her aunt Ci Ci, she knew, she knew today would  be different. She knew preparing herself for the rest of her life may be just preparing herself for today. July gave her a call.  July warned Akiva not to do anything irrational, but Ju Ju knew. She could feel it over the phone. Akiva was ready. Akiva knew that the work that had been done up to this point was for this day. The people were tired, the people were fed up. No longer listening to what the news, what the radio, what their pastors, what their religions leaders had to say. All they wanted was freedom. The only way to get freedom is to take it. She knew this wouldn’t be easy, so she decided to start writing her message. Maybe if written those that were against it would understand, she knew that there wasn’t much hope in that, but maybe then the ones were with it would understand better.

She stood up, went to her computer at the window and typed,

If bravery is found through love, let me never tire of the act, let me choose to be brave each day. If words spoken in hope and grace mean more than those spoken out of envy, let me know them of the former and less of the latter. Let darkness fade on the coward. Let light shine, let love glow. Even if painful, let it be triumphant in my heart. I pledge allegiance to love.

She hoped that writing this and sending it to the right people would get out in time. So she pressed send. Retweet after retweet after video after facebook share came. And as she prepared herself for the worst, the first bomb fell. This was the second civil war, and her fight, her allegiance, were in love.

Jeanette Berry


What it look like….

Haven’t written anything on here in a while. I decided to share some words I’m working through. What do you think? It’s called “What it look like” 
y’know what freedom looks like?

Freedom is wearing sneakers onstage when everyone thinks you should wear heels.
Freedom is not wearing make-up.
Freedom is wearing make-up.
Freedom is wearing what you want no matter what size.
Freedom is exploring your sexuality honestly.
Freedom is opening up your heart.
Freedom is art.
Freedom is curly hair in a straight haired world.
Freedom is pink lipstick with yellow teeth.
Freedom is pursuing your happiness while respecting anothers’ pursuit.
Freedom is a hopeful heart.
Freedom is security.
Freedom is risk taking.
Freedom is loving
Freedom is bravery.
Freedom is courage.
Freedom is being uncomfortable.
Freedom is