Reflections: By Tanzania Nevels

I noticed recently that’ I’ ve lost some of my softness, the place between darkness and light, where I would forgive a wrong, just to make it right, and it didn’t matter if you were black or white.

It use to be so easy to follow my heart on a leisurely course of curiosity about the miraculous and sometimes absurd.

And not get bogged down in the discourse of past mistakes, daily musings and misunderstood meanings about the space between the words.

But somewhere along the journey, my edges got sharper, my vison became clearer, and the contrasting lines of reality crowded in nearer.

I’d like to think my innocence rolled away in the mid-morning fog of existential questions about the human condition, not the torrential reign of forced submission, or the spellbinding rhetoric of false religion, being pimped out and petitioned by toupee smiling, Cadillac driving, high-flying, pin striped suit wearing preachers on a mission.

However, there are days when my consciousness is vibrating at the 10th power. Snaking it way through my Chakras like an overgrowth of the Kudzu flower, to attach itself to the crown tower, but still I cower from the force of the moment, that terrifying hour

As I shield myself from the soul wailing of my sisters as another black warrior is slau ghtered, taken from his son or daughter, to be drawn and quartered into pieces of our history that I don’t won’t to remember.

Maybe I could go back to the womb, the beginning of the end, untether myself from the dream that after birth life begins. Probe the mysteries of the universe without the baggage of shame, embrace myself sooner, rather than later in the game.

Because change has defined me and I am part of the whole, I can no longer roll, with the status quo, but lift my voice and pen to defend, blow by blow…just so you know.

About the Author:

I was was born in Blytheville, AR, but grew up in the Delta region of Grenada, Mississippi until the age of 14. I found my way to Flint Michigan and lived there for 18 years.

During this time I began to write and perform poetry as way to help make sense of myself and the world I lived in. It also helped define my role as a mother to three great children, Tyerica, Tiffany & Shakil, and the newest member…granddaughter, Sevalli.

Eventually, I moved to Atlanta and have been here for the last 19 years. I found my tribe of fellow poets and spoken word artists and dove into that scene with excitement and enthusiasm.

I have a BA in English & Organizational Communication and a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Michigan-Flint. In 2007, I started working at Agnes Scott College, a private women’s liberal arts college in the Registrar’s Office. I am happy to say that I am still there, but now in a new position as an Academic Adviser. Being an advisor provides me with the unique opportunity to motivate and empower my students.

However, one of my most important accomplishments has been taking my health and well-being into my own hands. I truly believe that the body, mind and spirit can be healed. One just has to give it what it needs. Which is why I incorporate yoga, meditation, prayer, tai chi, and reflective writing into my everyday life. Additionally, I plan to take classes to become certified in Reiki healing. And I am currently in classes to get a more in depth knowledge about herbs and how to use them.

Interesting facts: love to read, dance, play cards and board games (chess is a favorite), action & sci-fi movies, and the beach is my happy, happy, joyful place.

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