I’m determined to learn about the you that sits behind the veil you use to hide everything about yourself that society has deemed different.
I want to hear your real story. I want to understand your pain and to help you overcome your doubts.
I want to have an open conversation with you where its okay to discuss our fears, our dreams, our happiness, our unique experiences, and our different beliefs.
I want to accept you for who you are, and not the public you that you wear like a costume.
I want to become less ignorant because you are in my life.
I want to be honest with you without either of us feeling the need to sugarcoat our words because we both know there is no ill intent.
I want you to feel comfortable sitting with me, unguarded and unafraid.
I want to build the kind of friendship with you that’s built for an eternity.
I’m determined to learn about the you that sits behind the veil you use to cover everything about yourself that society has deemed different.
Will you undress with me? ~ Sean King
Listen when I speak to you
It is time for you to open your eyes
Don’t fall into the man’s sinister trap
Don’t mess around with the rest of your life
Listen when I speak to you
I will tell you this time and time again
You were meant to live the life of Kings
Do not waste life rotting away in the Pen
Listen when I speak to you
I feel I must let you know
Learn from the fallacies of Mr. Simpson’s ways
Let them white women go
Listen when I speak to you
I know your life is filled with hurt and pain
But the only way to find true happiness
Is to free your mind from the holds of the shackles
Break free of those chains
Listen when I speak to you
I know growing up in this country has left you
But when you start killing your own family
You have absolutely gone too far
Listen when I speak to you
Why are you robbing and stealing to earn respect
Power does not come from crooked cash
True power is derived from the intellect
Listen when I speak to you
I said I would tell you this again and again
You were meant to live the life of Kings
The life of Royalty
Not as some laboratory experiment
Rotting away in a maximum security Pen
Listen when I speak to you
It is time for a change
and I know you can
Help your daughters develop into beautiful women
Raise your son to become a resolute
Strong Black Man
Listen when I speak to you
Open your eyes
Divided we will be eliminated from the earth
We can make a stand
We will rise
Listen, when I speak to you..
Today, I spent the afternoon visiting gravesides and conversing with my loved ones. It’s been years, and in the case of my dad, it’s the first time I’ve visited his graveside since he passed away. I’ve never been fan of cemeteries; but as I’ve gotten older, my desire to come to this peaceful place, to converse, and to meditate has grown. Today it lifted my spirits and brought joy to my heart.
Today I thanked my grandma Lindsey for everything she is and for encouraging me to write and speak my truth. She always used to say; “those” people aren’t going to like what you have to say, but it’s the truth so keep saying it. Who knows what I would be today if it wasn’t for her words.
Today I thanked my grandma Smith, for the walks, the love, the patience, and for being a part of all of my early childhood memories before she got Alzheimer’s. In life and now she will always be my angel.
Today I sat down with my dad and thanked him for doing the best he could to be there for me. At times you were my superhero, at other times our relationship was rocky; no matter; today it’s all love and all thanks. As someone who grew up in a racist environment (like you) with numerous obstacles trying to beat me down; I gained an understanding you, of your imperfections, and of mine. We walk together inside the belly of the beast. We will walk together in heaven when my fight here is done.
Today I sat down with my big sister; we’ve been through it all together, fought, talked about our fears, and when you told me you were done with that all of that treatment that was killing you; I understood. You wanted to live before going home. I was sad to say goodbye, but I know you are watching over us, giving a side-eye to the devil and all of his cronies that are trying to knock us off track, and creating miracles on our path. You are a true wonder woman.
Today I got on my knees and talked to my mom. I thanked her for being our backbone, provider, protector, and rock through the tough times. She is as beautiful and intelligent as they come; a straight shooting fire-cracker that would never be walked over; and if you tried her you best be ready. We still talk daily and I respect the fact that she didn’t want to be buried or to put her name on a piece of stone. You are an agent of God and humble enough not to need recognition for your work.
All of you and so many more are with me; lifting, guiding, helping me make a positive contribution. On this and every other day I give thanks and love… ~ Sean King
He stepped to the stage
Visibly uncomfortable under the bright lights
Feeling the heat from the hundreds of watchful eyes
Surveying his naked soul
Watching his every movement
The room overflowed with anxious energy
As they waited for him to start
He took two steps back
One long, deliberate deep breath
Paused; and then went in
Fast paced cadence
Haunting words hurled at the audience
Like scavengers gnawing,
Pecking dead meat off his soulless skeleton
You could see his skin slowly peeling away
With each word that was gobbled
Consumed by their insatiable thirst for more
Gut wrenching stories of
After being painfully penetrated
By blood related penises
Of being the son of a crack addict mama
Who used her lips to suck
Opened her legs to fuck
For money to feed her addiction
She never thought about feeding him;
Crack addicts don’t think
A painful grimace
As he took us down memory lane
To that dark night where the errant bullets
Singing from the dark sedan
Left his brother in his arms
Spit flying from his mouth
You could feel the handcuffs get tighter
You could feel the baton smash into his back
Smash across his shoulders
Just before his body convulsed
As the pigs sent shockwaves
Through his nervous system
2 minutes, 30 seconds
Hurling haunting words of ghetto hopelessness
Drive-by get low moments
Where he was uncertain if he would live
He wasn’t certain if he wanted to live
Cursing at his self;
“Why do I keep getting up when I don’t even want to live”
Why does he want to live?
2 minutes, 50 seconds
He looked at the audience
…put his hands on his head…
…cried… the coach always told him to cry…
…bowed his head as he took a knee…
“Please God, Can I Live”
The crowd erupted
Stumping their feet
Screaming in amazement
As the cards turned around one by one
No calculation necessary
No need to deliberate
Call him the greatest
Thank him for entertaining you
With those beautiful stories of despair
Crowd his space to tell him
How great his poetry is
How great he is
Tag him on IG
DM him to ask him if he will perform
At your upcoming showcase
Do every single thing except ask him
If he is okay
Long after the crowds have dispersed
The bright lights of the stage have gone down
The people have stopped crowding his space
Their gaze is no longer upon him
He stands alone
Feeling like a zero
…and still asking the question…
“Why do I keep getting up when I don’t even want to live?”
They loved his words
They loved his delivery
They loved his performance
He gave it all to the judges
To the crowd, and
Forgot to keep any for his own healing
They never asked if he was okay?
The empty soul of a slam champion
Who healed souls
While dying a little bit with each word he spit
Happy Mother’s Day to my wife, my Queen, and the mother of my amazing boys. You are amazing in ways that go beyond description. I love you.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of the amazing women that are raising the next generation of Kings and Queens. You da real MVP.
Happy Mother’s Day to my mama, my sister, my grandmas, my aunt’s, my cousins, my friends, and all of the soldiers and queens that are no longer here; you fought on the front lines in the belly of the beast to give us a chance to breathe, to live, to love… you are the reason I am unapologetic in my existence… I love you and I will see you as soon as I complete my tasks on this side.
…and to all of my family and friends that are are lost because your beacons of light are no longer here… to all of you that are struggling with understanding why this has happened to you… to all of you that are in pain deep down in your soul because your mother is longer with you in her earthly form… know that she is walking with you every step of the way… she is in your heart speaking to your spirit; and still battling the beast right there with you… What do you do? You wake up; you stand up; and hold firm… Tomorrow you wake up; you stand up; and you take one step forward. The day after that you wake up; you stand up; you take two steps forward… Everyday, you wake up; you stand up; and you push yourself to move forward further than the day before. Whatever you do, you don’t step back.. Understand that the strong women that brought us into the world and prepared us wouldn’t want us to go back. Be strong. Be love. Be hope for the future.
One. Two. Three. Four. Forward Ever; Backward Never. ~ Sean King
defiance over grief
over slowing down to contemplate
Masking our pain
instead of facing it
rather than letting the hurt
grab ahold of us
We cover the holes in our heart so adeptly
that even those closest to us can only see the glimmer of light
sneaking past the mountains
of sadness eclipsing our light
On the outside
we feign the appearance of everything is fine
we are worn out
tired of overcoming
decimated by loneliness
stuck in the middle of nowhere
screaming to the heavens
as we struggle to hang on
We find ourselves
looking to those that remain
to fill the gaps of those that are no longer here
only to be greeted by the harsh reality
that some holes are simply too big to fill
We lash out in frustration
and our cries go unanswered
We walk a path toward peace
on a narrow road nestled neatly
between anger and hurt,
there is no end in sight
We see light
and then turn a corner
that leads us back to darkness
We are hopeful
but this taxing journey
threatens to take away all that we love
In our heart
we know we will make it
In our mind
we are unsure of what our world
will look like when we do
Will our loved ones still be there?
Will the blissful joy ever come back?
Will the soul that emerges on the other side resemble the soul that began the journey?
When you’re in the mist of the struggle… and you’re fighting to make the world a better place… and the darkness is starting to consume you… and the mountain starts to look too high to climb… and you’re losing faith in your ability to win the fight… and you start to contemplate giving up… step away… step away and reflect on the beauty of life… step away and think about all the things you’ve already overcome… step away and call your ride or dies… smile… laugh… love… shift your focus back to what you’re fighting for and not what you’re fighting against… sit up… put your feet firmly on the ground… put your fist in the air… rise up and scream in the name of the creator and all the ancestors that laid the foundation for you to be where you are… believe in your mind… understand with your heart… know with your soul that you can’t be stopped!!! Let’s go!!!! The Universe Needs You!!! ~ Sean King
Don’t be afraid to fail.
Don’t be afraid to love.
Don’t be afraid to fail at love.
Just make sure you don’t fail to love. ~ Sean King
Irony: An All Lives Matter movement goes silent when a 12 year old boy is shot in the park for playing with a toy gun in an open carry state… and the officer who’s former police chief recommended that he be fired walks free…
Irony: Pro-lifers who protest, attack, and even bomb planned parenthood clinics because they believe in the sacredness of life that have somehow never protested nor spoke out about the careless use of force and murder of innocent children by police…
Success requires us to find the strength to keep going when we’ve reached the point where we’re too tired to move forward and ready to give up.
It requires the faith to move to the outer edge of our support system and the willingness to step into that realm of loneliness that exists when we reach that part of our journey that requires us to walk alone.
It requires the courage to jump without a safety net and to fly without a parachute.
It requires the honesty to see yourself for who you really are and the bravery to become who you are destined to be.
It requires us to love yourself unconditionally and to have the fortitude to wage the lifelong battle with the fear that is the biggest threat us reaching our desired destination.
It requires us to stand up when we’ve been knocked down, to dust ourselves off, to learn from our mistakes, and to overcome the doubt that creeps in when we fall short.
Most importantly, it requires us to believe… How many of you are believers in you? ~ Sean King
Rachel Dolezal…. Now quickly give me the names of an unarmed black woman who has been shot by the police. Give me the name of the black women who are presidents of the NAACP and fighting for Civil Rights. Give me the names of black women in your community that are putting in work for the community and standing against racism and all of the injustices that you face…
What has just happened is a 37 year old white woman, who posed as a black woman, who is the president of the NAACP in a city named Spokane with a population of approx. 200,000 people of which less than 5,000 are black has just blown up the Internet. Undoubtedly she will become rich from interviews, book deals, and people wanting to hear her story.
Meanwhile, there are many black women (and other women) that are being killed, harassed, and abused while we turn a blind eye to the injustices being committed against them. These women, whose names we don’t know, whose stories we don’t care about, whose lives don’t matter to us will never be famous, well paid, nor receive books deals to talk about their lives.
Meanwhile, there are many women being their authentic selves that are fighting against injustices all over this country (and world) that we will never bother to study, to research, to know.
Meanwhile, there are many women in your local community; that are barely getting by because they have dedicated their entire lives to educating, uplifting, raising, helping, and making a difference in our community in any way they can. Women who are essentially begging for your support and yet ignored daily.
Meanwhile, we have again been bamboozled with a story that while sensational, potentially educational, and even amusing has done nothing more than to distract us from real issues surrounding us and the work that needs to be done.
Now, let’s get back to the business of using our God given gifts to uplift and move forward the people in our lives and in our communities that need our full attention. Let’s get back to the tasks of making this world better. Let’s focus on our journey to a better tomorrow.
Sleep well, wake up refreshed, get out of your bed and slap the devil in his mouth to let him know that you’re not taking any of his shit… ~ Sean King
Myrlie Evers-Williams – Former Chairwoman of the NAACP (National)
…everyday I see more and more people doing their own thing… learning to accept who they are… beginning to understand their own beauty… starting to fall in love with their own self… and I love it…
…I love seeing people walk confidently in their skin, with their style, as they are… as God created them…
…in my opinion beauty is not a product you buy, but something that comes from within… it starts with self love, self confidence, self respect…
…as complicated as we’ve made it, it really is as simple as being able to look at yourself in the mirror and to love what you see…
…and when you truly understand that you are already beautiful… you will be able to look at others and appreciate their beauty without feeling any kind of desire to look like them, to be shaped like them, to talk like them, to dress like them, or to have your hair done like theirs…
…why would you… want to be like someone else when who you are is already so damn perfect… Be you, do you, embrace you, love you… ~ Sean King
My Thoughts on the Latest Shooting:
…an unarmed man was murdered by a police officer while trying to run away… this is not shocking; in the community I grew up in it’s common knowledge that not all black people are thugs, not all cops are honorable, and there are times, too often, where the cops are the thugs murdering innocent civilians, planting evidence, illegally detaining and beating us up under the guise of broken taillights, tinted windows, speeding violations, and fitting the description of… I myself have had five cops pull their guns on me over a “broken taillight” among other incidents… Like I said, where I grew up, it’s common knowledge that not all black people are thugs, not all cops are honorable, and the murder of an unarmed man is not new to us…
…it is shocking, even with the video evidence, that this officer has been arrested and charged with murder… but I doubt that many of us believe that he will be convicted or serve any serious time if he is… we struggle with being patient and believing in a justice system that has continuously failed us, so you have to excuse us if we don’t believe this latest incident will result in any punishment for the perpetrator of the crime against human life…
…the fact these officers continue to commit these kinds of acts, knowing that they are potentially being recorded shows that these are not isolated random incidents, but a part of their culture and that they don’t believe they will be punished for their actions. Otherwise, they would stop foolishly committing these acts on camera.
…I am thankful for the recent barrage of video footage, not because I believe there will be a conviction, but because people who aren’t from my world (there is more than one America in America), are having their beliefs challenged and being presented with evidence that disputes the long held American belief that the police are always acting honorably when they do harm to a civilian…
…the truth is, we have been telling you for years about these heinous acts committed by officials of the government, but you have never believed us… and even with the videos, you are still struggling to reconcile the idea of a crooked cop against your belief that cops by definition are good people…. Cops are just people, some honorable and good, others abusing their power and corrupting the system…
…now we wait…. ~ Sean King
50 years ago you were assassinated; you were 39. You were a father. You were a husband. You were a Muslim. You were a black man speaking your truth at a time when your right to do so was not protected. Like Dr. King, you were a Human Rights Activist that was able to move beyond the teaching of hate that you learned early in life. Like Dr. King, you fought for the people. You used truth to combat the hypocrisy and lies. Your intelligence was unmatched, your logic was indisputable, your willingness to sacrifice it all for what you believed in was the definition of courage….
…and sure, they will always refer to you as Malcolm X, the radical racists militant black leader… but I will always celebrate and remember you as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, the humanitarian who returned from his trip to Mecca with clarity and an understanding that contrary to what we have been taught in America, that before we are black, we are human… and the rights we seek are not Civil Rights but Human rights and they are God given…
…and sure, they will continue to parade pictures of you standing at a window with an assault rifle with the quote “By Any Means Necessary” at the bottom; because it feeds into the idea that a Black Muslim is inherently violent, and violence can be used for fear which can be used for control which can be used to keep our system of oppression and inhumanity intact… but what was the context of the quote? Why don’t they ever talk about the difference between saying you will defend yourself rather than turning the other cheek when violence is committed against you? Why don’t they ask, how many acts of violence did you commit or where was your gun when you were assassinated? Surely, a violent Muslim who knew he would be murdered would have been packing heat?
…ah, but that picture of peace in the face of violence is too Dr. King-ish, and doesn’t fit the narrative of fear that they promote to squash the movement… and by acknowledging that you weren’t a violent racists radical, but rather a humanitarian fighting not for Civil Rights but for Human rights, that would have added too much power to the movement.
…imagine, oppressed human beings all over the world rallying with El-Hajj Malik-El Shabazz, the non-violent Human rights activists who looks at the Muslim brothers and sisters, and the Christian brothers and sisters, and everyone else who has a desire to fight for human rights as his brothers…
…but I remember you brother El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz… as the beautiful being you were, you are, and you will continue to be… I admire your courage and your struggle and your fight… and I understand that you live in me. “You Can Not Assassinate a Spirit, You Can Only Kill a Man.” ~ Sean King
Today we Celebrate You!
We declare our right on this earth to be a man, to be a human being, to be respected as a human being, to be given the rights of a human being in this society, on this earth, in this day, which we intend to bring into existence by any means necessary. —Malcolm X, 1965
They want the smile of romance,
but are unwilling to withstand the pain.
They want all of love’s passion,
but turn away as soon as they get too close to the flame.
They want it to last a lifetime,
but start plotting their getaway as soon as they feel the strain.
They say they want love,
but are chasing a lie that doesn’t exist.
Yeah there’s bliss
Punctuated by a passionate kiss,
…but life is a bitch…
got you bobbing and weaving
while its throwing punches
trying to split your lip
got you questioning your love to the point
where you feel the mate of your soul
starting to slip
got you struggling to hold on
any second about to lose your grip
Yeah, there’s bliss
Punctuated by a passionate kiss,
…but life is a bitch
and if you really want love like you say,
you have to risk everything you are
and work for it… ~ Sean King
To my dreamers: Don’t allow the pitfalls or the mountains you encounter on your path discourage you from continuing to move forward. Don’t let the doubts or lack of support from those around you lead to a place of self doubt. Don’t become so fixated on that brick wall that’s standing between you and your destiny that you forget what your destiny is.
What I’m saying is this: If you fall down; get up. If there is a mountain that needs to be climbed; don’t think about how high it is, just climb it. If you feel the people who love you don’t support your dreams; achieve them and watch those same people who didn’t believe become the people who tell you they always believed in you. If you come face to face with a brick wall; knock it down, go around it, climb over the top of it, jump, fly, soar… do whatever you need to do to keep moving toward your destiny.
You are capable, you just have to believe in you… ~ Sean King
Dedicate your day to What you Love, to Who you Love, to Being Love, to Showing Love, and to Loving Yourself… and remember, even when you’re feeling beat up when you wake up the opportunity is yours to take as long as you’re willing to Get up, to Stand up, to Bless up, and to Love up.
#KeepMovingForward. ~ Sean King
…the best way to celebrate the legacy of Dr. King is to wake up the humanity that lives in your soul and to use it to stand against the injustices that are impacting our brothers and sisters all over the world.
…that means standing against the murder of innocent people at the hands of war; whether it be by Christians or Muslims, whether it be at the hands of the East or the West… Please do not murder any more people under the false pretense of protecting my liberties…
…that means standing in opposition of poverty… there is no reason for nations with a gluttonous excess of riches to be okay with watching human being starve… the idea of the wealthy people earning everything they have through hard work and sound business practices is simply untrue… the wealth of our great nation was built at the expense of the lives of others…
…that means standing up to the militarization and the ongoing abuse of power by our police force…. there is simply no excuse for the continuous murder of unarmed human beings by representatives of a government that stands for Liberty and Justice for all…
…learn, understand, teach, remember who Dr. King was and what he stood for. Yes, he was a Civil Rights activist… but Dr. King was also a man who was willing to die to put an end to the human rights violations that were being committed, not just again black people, but against people all over the world…
…In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., let’s stand on the shoulders of love and continue his fight to put an end to the attack on innocence that is being waged all over the world from the Americas, to Europe, to the Middle East, to Africa, to Asia, to Australia, and to every dark corner of the world that injustices are being committed… When we do this, then we can say we are truly celebrating the legacy of Dr. King. ~Sean King
…this morning a man I had never seen before started talking to me on my way out of the store… The man had slurred speech, dirty clothes, a patch over his eye, and a cigarette in his mouth… When I heard him start talking to me, I stopped, made eye contact, and gave him my full attention. The man then proceeded to tell me about how he had been shot and stabbed before taking off his eye patch and lifting his shirt to show me his wounds.
… after taking only two minutes of my time, it was clear that he wasn’t asking for my sympathy or a handout; he simply wanted to be seen, to be acknowledged as a human being without being looked down at, to exist in my world.
,,,I share this simply as a reminder that sometimes what people need the most is to be seen, heard, and to be viewed as human beings instead of monsters. Sometimes people need to feel visible in the eyes of others instead of like a problem being swept under the rug or ignored.
…to that man: I let him know that I see him, acknowledge his humanity, and wish kindness on him. He didn’t ask me to feel sorry for him, and I don’t. He didn’t ask me for a handout, and none was given… hopefully what I did give was enough.
…To all my folks posting the hashtag #AllLivesMatter; I only have one question for you. Do you feel this way about people that haven’t been killed? ~ Sean King
You made a mistake. You said something you wish you didn’t say. You hurt somebody you love. You fell short of your goals and now all you can think about is your failure. Now your heart is black with the pain of your regret. You can’t move forward because all you want to do is fix the past. All the while you are slapped in the face with the cold reality that time doesn’t move backwards. What do you do?
You forgive yourself for being imperfect. You apologize to the person you hurt with your words or your lack of consideration. If they can’t accept your apology, you forgive them, pray for them, love them, and then you keep moving forward. You dust yourself off, get back on your feet, spread your wings and regain your focus on being the man or woman that God created.
Maybe over time your relationship gets repaired, maybe it doesn’t, but you have to accept the fact that there is no reason for you continue looking backwards when the scrolls of that part of your life have already been written. All that pain that you carry with you is nothing more than a pair of shackles holding you back. You have to let it go if you are to truly reach your purpose. #KeepItMoving….
…I know what it’s like to fit the description of…
…Like all of the times I was stopped while driving to work, coming from school, heading to football practice in Bakersfield…. Like every time a cop followed me all the way to the driveway of my house. Like the time I was tailed and stopped while driving through the California State University of Sacramento campus while I was a student. Like the time I was given a sobriety test during my lunch break while in a suit and tie. Like the time I was stopped by 3 cop cars and 5 cops with their weapons drawn while dropping off a video at a Sacramento video store…
…Even today, every time I see the police I know in my heart that I might be stopped, questioned, detained, drawn down on, or even shot. That constant antagonism and terrorism from those that are supposed to protect and serve its American citizens, yes I was born and raised here, is the reason that every encounter is potentially explosive. It’s the reason why emotions constantly run high in our community. It’s the reason you see very little remorse when cops are killed or shot at. There is always a bit of rage bubbling under the surface of the focused demeanor and outward love. I’ve been working on controlling it my whole life; but it’s always there…
…My mother understood this, my grandmother understood this… so instead of raising me to buy into the illusion of equality and justice for all, they raised me to understand my reality. They raised me in a way that would allow me to find happiness and success in spite of the injustices I would face throughout my life. Racism is the reason my mother was adamant about me leaving Bakersfield as soon as I could. She could see the cycle working to derail me. The system working to kill my dreams, purpose, hopes, and eventually me…
This is my reality. This is my truth and where I come from. This is the truth of many of the black men in my family, in my city, in my country.
Like I said, I know what’s like to fit the description of… a murderer, a strong armed robber, a gang member, a rapist… because at one time I have been questioned and accused for all of the things that I have never done… ~ Sean King
I am dedicating this week to positive empowerment. Your empowerment, my empowerment, our empowerment. Meaning, this week I am not going to spend any time talking about all that is wrong in the world, who’s holding us down, how we have been setup for failure. I will not give any attention to anyone who has done me wrong nor talk about what someone is missing because I am not in their life. I will not speak to you or anyone in a way that tries to steal your/their power. I will not not oppress you with my negativity nor the stories of how you will fail because I have failed.
This week I am dedicated to uplift and getting up. This week I will spend 100% of my time, community building, confidence building, encouraging you to keep moving forward, sharing love, lending a hand, and doing whatever I think is necessary for us to get to the next level.
Here is the reality; every second we spend thinking we can’t do it, worried about what’s in our way, or trying to prove someone wrong is a second that we’re not dedicating to our dream and/or our success. Let’s be love, let’s be light, let’s be a ray of hope in the darkness. Love…. ~ Sean King
you what today is? Today is a day to support the Mahogany Urban Poetry Series 15th Anniversary celebration by donating to and sharing information about the Indiegogo campaign. Today is a great day to enter the Mahogany Urban Poetry Series 15th Anniversary Poetry Contest. Today is a day to support something that’s positive and worthwhile.
Why? Poetry saves lives. Poetry helps people get on the good foot. Poetry influences people and the people in their life for the better.
Question: How would you feel if you found out you had a Maya Angelou, or a Langston Hughes, or a Nikki Giovanni, or a Sonia Sanchez, or another amazing poet that would change the world right there in your local city; and you never found out about them because you chose not to support the arts? Let’s make sure it doesn’t happen; these young beautiful voices need a platform. Mahogany Urban Poetry Series gives them this platform.
Donate to the IndieGoGo Campaign. Enter the Mahogany Fifth Poetry Contest. Spread the Word to Others.
Go to: www.mahoganypoetry.com
Let me take a moment to give a shot out to all of the people I know that overachieved after being told that you couldn’t do it, to the fatherless children who became outstanding fathers, to the gang bangers who are doing the heavy lifting in the community, to the drug addicts who are clean and doing the work of saving lives, to my sisters who have broke through the glass ceiling without selling their souls,to the ministers that used to run the streets with me, and to the mothers who are raising young men in spite of the belief that women can’t raise men – to that I call bullshit, I am one.
Yes, today I am giving a shot out to every kid that was born in hell and have still found a way to live in the light, to be consumed with love, and to move past anger even though they have every right to be pissed. Today I am dedicating my post to the “I never thought they could/would be successful, yes, I’m doing the damn thang success stories”.
It’s impossible to name you all by name, but know that I am in your corner, got your back, believe in your hustle, in love with your soul, and walking the damn walk right there with you. We are the true American dream. Good day and keep pushing forward. ~ Sean King
Wishing a Happy Mother’s day to the amazing woman who birthed me, raised me, taught me to navigate these crazy shark infested waters as a young black man, showed me how to live with integrity even when doing the right thing goes against the grain, and served as a constant reminder that love is always there even when you find yourself in the middle of hell. You are appreciated, loved, and still greatly missed… but knowing that you have found peace is better than having you suffering here with us.
Happy Mother’s Day to all my grandmas that have found peace and to grandma that is still here blessing us with her love and wisdom. Happy Mother’s day to all my mamas that have embraced, loved, and treated me as their son. Happy Mother’s day to all my sisters who are raising the next generation of Kings and Queens; you are amazing. Happy Mother’s day to all of my Aunt’s, cousins, friends, and every other amazing woman out there making big contributions to the world by selflessly serving the role as our mothers.
Happy Mother’s Day to my angel, my Queen, my wife, the love of my life, the mother of my little King’s, and the amazing woman who I have vowed to spend my eternity with. Everyday with you I am reminded of God’s eternal grace.
Thank you to you all…. I am, we are, it is all because of you… ~ Sean King
…maybe then…maybe after you’re done obeying all the rules, dressing in all the right clothes, going to all the right schools, chasing all the right jobs, networking with all the right people, and doing everything they told you that you need to do to be successful all the way down to eating Sushi, drinking Starbucks, and disowning all of your family and friends who aren’t career oriented because them being in your life
ain’t — excuse me, is not a good look with the people you’re trying to impress… and then you realize that you’re not happy…
…maybe then you’ll flip your middle finger to peer pressure, quit worrying about everyone’s opinion of you, go back to drinking red Kool-Aid, eating chicken, and being happy to see your not so perfectly mannered family members that will rob an armored truck to give you an opportunity to be successful because they genuinely love you instead of spending all your time trying to brown nose those stiffs for a promotion…
…maybe then you will dust off your dreams, your ambitions, your purpose, and fight to become the person you are supposed to be… not the one that sounds good to everyone else, but the invisible you that’s being murdered a little bit everyday in your prison of self inflicted mediocrity of wanting to look good in the eyes of everyone else, the one that’s fighting from deep down in your soul to liberate you from the rat race…
…maybe then you will get off your ass and say what you have to say, do what you need to do, be who you want to be…
…maybe then you will remember what it means to be genuinely happy….
…maybe then you’ll do “That Thing”… ~ Sean King
You don’t owe me anything. I don’t owe you anything. If I give, it’s because I want to and not because of what I might get in return. If I receive, I give thanks because what was given wasn’t owed to me. Your praise of my accomplishments, though greatly appreciated, is not necessary because I’m driven by purpose. Everyday I want to be a better man than I was the day before. Some days I succeed. Some days I fall short. No matter which side of the fence I fall on, I keep trying. If I wake up that means I must keep marching forward; no excuses.
One day, this earthly body will be unable to hold my heavenly spirit. When that day comes, smile for me because I have lived. I have bathed in the beautiful rays of the sun and smiled. I have danced on cliffs overlooking an endless ocean to the rhythmic sound of waves slapping against rocks. I have sang the morning glory with God’s songbirds to usher in a new day. I have enjoyed fellowship, and drank, and told tall tales under the midnight sky to the backdrop of a grizzly bear’s growl and the roar of a hunting pack of lions. I have been touched and I’d like to believe I have touched others. Most importantly, I have made love under the twinkle of the star filled sky and gave birth to happiness.
What more would I dare ask for? There are no regrets here. There is no desire to go backwards or to apologize for the steps I have taken. There is no worry over how I will be remembered. My legacy is the least of my concerns. I am too busy trying to walk the path I have been chosen to walk to worry about what tall tales will be told about me after I’ve transitioned to the next step in my infinity. Live Life in the rays of the Light. Project Love from the deepest depths of your Heart. Let your Soul be the map you use to navigate to your Purpose. ~ Sean King
I met the cutest little girl yesterday who told me she wants to be a doctor so she can help people. How beautiful is that?
I’m going to say a prayer for her and her dreams; because I know the way the society we live in and the people in it can kidnap, rape, beat, and even murder the worthy dreams of our kids under the guise of doing what’s practical, of making money, and yes, even under the pretense of love.
Should you come across my new friend, the kid with the sweet as red kool-aid smile and bigger than life dreams, or any other hopeful child that dreams of someday making a difference in this world; I beg of you to forget about your own failures, to ignore that inner voice telling you that what these kids dream of is impossible, to step out of the box of your broken realities, and to refrain from speaking to them about all of the obstacles that will prevent them from ever achieving the dreams they seek.
Instead, offer a word of encouragement, let them know that you believe in them and that they can do it, tell them that there is nothing in this world that can stop them if they work hard, are determined, put their mind to it, and map out a plan.
Whatever you do, don’t be the reaper ushering another child’s dream into the graveyard where the broken dreams of those who never had the courage to pursue their dreams go to die… ~ Sean King
When I first got the news that my good friend had passed away today, it hit me like a ton of bricks… That is until I took a deep breath and remembered her for the beautiful person that she is. Then I gave thanks to God for allowing such a beautiful angel to find her way into my life.
It’s crazy how a brief encounter at a stepshow all the way back in 1995 could turn into a lifelong friendship. How influential a bright smile and a fighter’s heart could be on my perspective. How much more beautiful the world seemed after a heartfelt conversation with her, my sister. The way she lived, her always positive attitude, and her passion for doing for others was a constant reminder that I simply do not have the right to feel sorry for myself.
The kind of woman that she is was never more evident than when I spoke to her while she was waiting for a Liver transplant and the odds started to appear to be stacked against her. What did she say? She told me that no matter what that she was blessed, thankful, praying for the other patients in the hospital who she felt had it worse than her, and going to continue fighting and fighting and fighting….
No matter the circumstance her message was always consistent – Get Up!! Keep Fighting!! Keep Smiling!! Keep Loving!!
Nef, I will miss you dearly and already look forward to having our next conversation on the other side. I am thankful that you have found peace and finally found a place big enough to hold that beautiful smile of yours. Love you always, your brother… ~ Sean King
I’m black and haven’t watched 12 years a slave. I didn’t watch the Help or the Butler either. In fact, I didn’t and had no intentions on watching the Oscars… but I do congratulate them on their award, on obtaining a slice of their dreams, on the confidence that so many young brothers and sisters will have who are struggling with believing in themselves in a world that is constantly telling them they are nothing.
To my young brothers and sisters who are looking at their dreams and wondering if they are capable, if they are worthy, if they can. I will simply say; Yes!!! You can, you are worthy, you are more capable and amazing than you will ever know, and you are and have always been beautiful even if society refuses to validate you. I say those things to you in hopes that you never give your power to anyone else. In hopes that you understand that even though it’s nice to be recognized for your effort, it is not a requirement for you to achieve your greatness; do not allow them to have that kind of power over your dreams. Keep moving forward, keep grinding, keep pushing toward your dreams even if it seems you are the only one who believes in them. Above all else – believe in and love yourself. I love you; I believe in you; I wish the best for you today and always. ~ Sean King
Happy Black History Month to all of my brothers and sisters that descended from Africa . As my brother Gilbert Richards always reminds us, Black History didn’t start with Slavery and is more than the history of African-American/Black people in America.
This month, let’s celebrate the achievements and accomplishments of our ancestors by paying homage to their legacy and putting in the work to build on it.
No matter what your knowledge of our history is, learn more. No matter what your accomplishments and achievements are, do more. No matter how many people you uplift with the wonderful community service you do, strive to do more. No matter how many people you greet and smile at, smile and greet more.
Envision yourself helping your people escape from the Pharaoh. Think about what it would be like to conquer Rome. Can you see yourself leading forces in the French Revolution? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to take Edison’s inventions and make them better. What about creating an Almanac and designing the streets of our nation’s Capitol. When you make Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches do you say Ashe in honor of our ancestors? Do you ever wonder how all that food is transported across the country without spoiling? Have you read the Three Musketeers or the Count of Monte Cristo? When you thank Abraham Lincoln for freeing the slaves do you also thank Frederick Douglas? Do you yell Yele and Amandla Awethu in your sleep? What would it have been like to stand at the steps of the Lincoln memorial and to deliver one of the most important speeches ever delivered? What are the Souls of Black Folk saying to you now? How did Superman become Man?… and while I’m at it, why does Black History month even exist?
No matter who you are, no matter where you are in life… Dream Big, Give Thanks, and Go Forth on building the history of tomorrow through your hard work today. ~ Sean King
Kill the man. Sanitize the cause. Make him an American hero. Give the people a holiday. Let the people have their sanctioned marches and rhetorical speeches on his dream… But whatever you do, never let it be known that King was killed, not for his stance on race but for his position on war. For his desire to see equity across humanity. For his work to build coalitions with other non-black groups who stood for the same things he stood for. For his push to ensure every citizen in this rich nation had guaranteed income levels so they too could compete for this dream of ours.
Dr. King was not just a Civil Rights leader who wanted little black boys and little white girls to be able to hold hands without fear of persecution. Dr. King was a revolutionary that questioned America at its very core.
I too celebrate the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The problem is, I’m not sure we’re talking about the same King or the same dream. We’ve made progress, but we’re no where near where we need to be; meaning we still have work to do. ~ Sean King
Being beautiful is our God given right. Don’t allow these superficial perceptions that man pushes lead us to believe that being beautiful is something that’s reserved for those other people, or something that we need to spend money on to be. Dark skin, light skin, short, tall, old, young, curly hair, straight hair, blue eyes, hazel eyes, deep dark brown eyes, or whatever other permutation you can think of; you have the right and capability of being beautiful as long as you understand that beauty is not a product you buy, but something that starts from inside you… something that you are. So gon’ head with your bad self; own it, be it, let it resonate in your actions and with every breath you take… Beauty becomes you. ~ Sean King
Happy birthday Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr; today we celebrate you as an activist, as a revolutionary, as a leader, as a humanitarian, and as a man who believed in something so much that he willingly gave his life for it. Even though we continue to sanitize and in some cases bastardize your message, your impact continues to be felt all across the world today.
Was Dr. King a Civil Rights activist fighting for the rights of Black People? Absolutely. But let’s not forget that he was also a man who stood against violence, who stood against war, who stood against poverty, and who stood in front of the world and declared that America had failed to deliver on its promise to the people. He was also a humanitarian and a coalition builder who fought for people at home and abroad.
So while you’re at your day of service, while you’re repping your organization on the MLK march,while you’re doing your staged sit-ins and protest before going back home to your nice comfortable life; take a moment to reflect on who Dr. King was and what he ultimately stood for; and then ask yourself – Have you ever believed in a cause so much that you would be willing to lay your life down for it?
Dr. King the man is no more; but his work has not been completed yet.
You can not assassinate a spirit, you can only kill a man. Long Live the King… ~ Sean King
Walk alone when you need to.
Dance by yourself if the urge hits you.
Let the music play in your head and sing it out loud.
Talk to yourself and listen.
Listen to the advice of others but trust in you.
Seek success on your own terms.
Create your own currency to measure your life.
Don’t be afraid to believe something your soul knows that your mind can’t comprehend.
Go crazy and leave sanity to those who seek mediocrity.
Break free, stand up, run forward….. Jump!!!
So what if you fall…
You can never reach the stars if your feet never leave the earth. ~ Sean King
In our society, every time we see a girl, a young lady, or a woman who fits the societal accepted standards of pretty… we usually focus on their physical characteristics and say things like, “You are so pretty that you should be a super model”…
Honestly, I’m sick of it and want to shift the paradigm in a way that lifts our Queens up and gives them real confidence… How about the next time you see a girl, young lady, or a woman that you think is pretty, you give her a different kind of compliment.
For example, “You are so beautiful that you should be an Engineer, or a Doctor, or a Teacher, or a Philanthropist. I think you have what it takes to change the world.”
My point is we should encourage our women to be more than eye candy. Good morning beautiful people. ~ Sean King
Here are a few thoughts that I like to reflect on periodically. Some that are mine, and others that I ran across that really resonated with me.
If you want to do something courageous, try love. ~ Sean King
The word for today is love. Find it inside you. Be it with every particle in your body and every piece of your soul. Project it so that everyone who stands in your vicinity feels the spirit of God moving in and through you. ~ Sean King
Don’t love someone and think you have tomorrow to tell them. Don’t be mad at somebody and think you have tomorrow to make it right. Don’t hold it in.. What am I saying? I’m telling you to treat every encounter with every person like it’s going to be the last time you will see them. Life gives opportunities but does not make guarantees. Right now is all we have. ~ Sean King
When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, “I used everything you gave me”. — Erma Bombeck
The supreme prayer of my heart is not to be learned, rich, famous, powerful, or good, but simply to be radiant. I desire to radiate health, cheerfulness, calm courage, and good will. I wish to live without hate, whim, jealousy, envy, fear. I wish to be simple, honest, frank, natural, clean in mind and clean in body, unaffected, as ready to say I do not know, if it be so, and to meet all men on an absolute equality, to face any obstacle and meet every difficulty unabashed and unafraid. I wish others to live their lives, too – up to their highest, fullest, and best. To that end I pray that I may never meddle, interfere, dictate, give advice that is not wanted, or assist when my services are not needed. If I can help people, I’ll do it by giving them a chance to help themselves; and if I can uplift or inspire, let it be by example, inference, and suggestion, rather than by injunction and dictation. That is to say, I desire to be radiant – to radiate life. – Elbert Hubbard
Good night family… Wake up rejuvenated, refreshed, and ready to be a miracle. I love and thank God for your presence in my life. I may not know the reason, but I know there is a reason and that’s good enough for me. ~ Sean King
Who knew, that on this day 37 years ago that a woman would be born who would tame my wild heart, elevate my soul into the Universe of love, teach me how to dance on the clouds, and open my eyes to the grace of God in ways that I had never saw before.
Who knew, that the love of my life, my Soulmate, my Boo, my Queen, and the mother of my lil’ Kings would lasso my heart with a love so beautiful that it would melt away all of my anger and hate, and leave me naked in front of God with three possessions: my love, my family, and the work of uplifting humanity.
Who knew? God knew, when he molded Adam from the clay of earth and created Eve from a rib at his side that you and I would be standing together on this day with a love as perfect as any love that has ever existed. Through God all things are possible, with your love my heart is unconquerable.
Happy birthday Boo, I am thankful for you sashaying your love into my life. Today we celebrate you, my Queen… ~ Sean King
I’ll save my diatribe on the origins of Thanksgiving and all the other questionable history of America for another day, and will simply say…
I give thanks to the Creator for blessing me with another day of life. I give thanks to my ancestors for providing the shoulders that I now stand on. I give thanks to you, my family and friends, for providing the backbone for who I am and giving me the constant push I needed to keep me moving 4-ward. I give thanks to every situation I’ve encountered and every person that God has allowed me to cross paths with, even for a brief moment, because I have faith that it all has meaning. I say prayers for every one of my brothers and sisters across the globe who are alone, depressed, ill, incarcerated, missing someone special, oppressed, or in need of uplift for any reason… Insha’Allah/God Willing, my prayers will reach you and give you what you need. I stand with you in solidarity; as a father, as a man, as a human being, and as a child of God with a smile and a faithful belief that we will collectively find a way to make this world better. I greet you with love and a smile on this beautiful day. I hope you are standing with me and smiling back… ~ Sean King
Only if I am willing to give it all in an effort to save you can I claim to walk the path of Jesus… but right now, I am still too inwardly focused to recognize your pain. I am still too worried about receiving the blessings I deserve to sacrifice for you. I am too afraid of the unknown to embrace the after life. I’ve heard it’s beautiful, yet I fear death because I don’t know anyone who can confirm its beauty. The willingness to step into the unknown is where my faith is weakest. I claim Christianity, yet demand that you meet me half way before I sacrifice anything for you. Did the people meet Jesus half way before he took the cross? Were they deserving of his love? Are we worthy enough to call ourselves faithful followers?
In time we will all discover truth, for now we ponder. ~ Sean King
I’ve learned that something amazing happens everyday; you just have to learn to see it. It can be something as simple as a smile, a hug, a conversation with a friend, or even the reality of your dreams manifesting. It can be a kind word to a stranger or being on the receiving end of a timely blessing. Today I experienced all of the above and then this…
I called AT&T to report an issue with my UVerse. The lady on the phone had an accent that I knew was from a place far away from me. In between her going through her script, we exchanged pleasantries and I learned she was from the Philippines. I asked how her family was doing and how she was holding up? She appreciated the concern. I could tell from her response that the tragedy was taking its toll on her, but she was proud and determined to keep pushing forward. We talked about the United States, her desire to pursue her dreams of coming here, her Aunt in California, and the differences in culture. I needed my TV fixed and she needed someone to have an off script conversation with. She was able to resolve the issue and I was able to offer kind words and prayers to someone in an area in need of healing. It was only one person, but it felt meaningful. It never ceases to amaze me, all the creative ways that we are moved around in and out of each other’s lives.
I will continue to pray for my brothers and sisters in the Philippines. Love… ~ Sean King
I’m determined to learn about the you that sits behind the veil you use to hide everything about yourself that society has deemed different.
Regarding writing, I would only encourage you to focus on the truth that your soul is trying to get out, and not to worry about how it comes out. Truth is beautiful, not because of how pretty the words sound or well it’s written, it’s beautiful because it is a piece of our authenticity. Truth speaks to our hearts and souls in ways the mind is incapable of comprehending.
What I’m saying is you should never compare your writing to what others write, simply continue to document your truth, to bask in the glow of love, and to be as consistently authentic as you can be. ~ Sean King
Don’t miss it…
The good things going on in your life
The reasons to be thankful
The opportunities to smile
The blessings that are unfolding for you right now…
Happiness may not be screaming for your attention in the same way that negativity does, but it’s there, quietly waiting for you to see and embrace it…
Don’t miss it!!! ~ Sean King
You are beautiful. The whole world is in front of you waiting to be conquered. Sure, there will be some bumps and rough patches, but don’t let it discourage you. Don’t lose sight of your blessings because of a few unfortunate circumstances. Get up, dust it off, take a step forward and then another and then another until you reach your destination. Know in your heart that nothing can stop you but your fear. Who are you? You are a King if you choose to be. You are a Queen if you believe it’s so. You are a work of art created by the most high… Act like it. Know it. Believe it… Believe it… You are beautiful… You are beautiful… You are beautiful… ~ Sean King
This morning, like a lot of other mornings, I woke up and wanted to talk to my loved ones that have already passed on. To be honest, this is not something that makes me sad or angry, just a reality for someone that has said goodbye to a lot of people over a relatively short life. It’s a reality that has taught me about mortality, dreams, friendship, appreciating the here and now, and the importance of not wasting moments. Through this reality, I have learned the importance of every single breath, of every interaction, of passionately pursuing my dreams from the time I wake up (God Willing/Insha’Allah) until I rest my head at night, and of you. This reality has helped me to move away from the idea of the American dream and toward God’s purpose. It has taught me to stop counting on tomorrow’s and to quit assuming I’ll have another chance to make it right. Most importantly, it has taught me passion.
When you sit down with me, when we communicate in passing, when you read what I’ve written or watch how I’m living, I hope the thing you see is someone who is passionate about friendship, about using my gifts to help someone, about life, and about love.
Why do I share this? I share this so that you can understand what I’ve come to understand. We have been given but a few ticks on the clock of eternity to achieve an infinite amount of dreams and to express an infinite amount of love; we don’t have a single breath to waste on the bullshit.
..you’re standing on the edge of a cliff, are you worried about falling or thinking about soaring?
through the suffocating inside of hell’s furnace
over broken boards littered with the poison of old rusted nails
With fire breathing dragons while simultaneously siphoning Satan’s venom
from your soul
From the bottom of the Atlantic through a school of Great Whites covered in blood to get to the famed shores of hope
Over lakes of quicksand into bushes of poison ivy with the shackles of incarceration on your ankles and wrist
From southern branches like ripe apples waiting to be picked for the autumn harvest
From the throngs of slavery only to be stabbed by the slithering scales of Justice
The mind altering trauma of mass incarceration and run
Away from the barking dogs chasing you through the enchanted forest
Barefoot through the sizzling desert staying hydrated by drinking the venom of the Sidewinder
Past the pack of wolves and around the the bear protecting her precious offspring before engaging in a brutal death match with a hungry Mountain Lion and then climb,
Over the the slippery rocks, through the thick vegetation, and around the gaseous pockets of poisonous air
Through the frost bite, through the avalanches, through the shortness of breathe caused by the lack of oxygen as you ascend to the place that only the great ones go
At the summit of your life, at the edge of the cliff of all the struggle you have been through to get to this point, looking at the breath taking views of destiny, taking deep breaths of purpose…
…are you worried about falling or thinking about soaring? ~ Sean King
Someday, I hope to sit down with you, to look in your eyes, to hear your voice, to converse using the full array of tools we’ve been given; voice fluctuations, hand gestures, body language, pace, facial expressions, and eye movement.
Someday, I hope to have an honest and open dialogue with you, without interruptions, without being defensive, without misunderstanding; our souls harmonically synchronized to the rhythm of each other’s beat.
Someday, I hope to share a space with you at a time when we are present in the moment, both mentally and physically; where the words coming out of our mouths and the unspoken language of our souls are just as necessary as the oxygen we use to feed our lungs, our heart, and our mind.
Someday, I hope to meet you in a place that sits just beyond the reach of our internet connections, of our cell phone towers, of our satellite feeds, and out of the range of all the other distractions that we’ve allowed to impede something that used to come so naturally to us.
Someday, I hope to converse with you in a place so beautifully peaceful that I can hear the blood flowing through your veins and the thump of your heart.
Someday, I hope to sit down and talk with you, to have the kind of dialogue that 60 years of marriage is built on, the kind of discussion that is necessary to establish lifelong friendships, to have the kind of dialogue that leaves you longing… for the next conversation.
Whenever you’re ready, I’ll be waiting for you…
Surround yourself with people who know your worth and don’t accept anything less. Fall in love with you and treat yourself accordingly. Work like someone who has a million things to do that knows tomorrow isn’t promised. Pray like someone that believes in God and not like someone that was taught a ritual in a church. Chase your dreams with the endurance and determination of a pack of Hyenas stalking their pray, and not in the short all out sprint of the Cheetah. Praise God (Alhamdulillah), and be thankful for who you are, where you’ve come from, where you’re going, and what you’re about to do with the gifts God has given you. Good morning beautiful people. ~ Sean King