Mirror

What do you see when you look into this?

A deep dark abyss that you cannot dismiss?

Looking deep into the reflection of your eyes.

Inspecting the shell of your soul you cannot help but to become hypnotized

By the demons that stand behind you trying to pick away at your vision.

Reveling in the attempt to pursue the circumcision

Of your heart as you strive to stand in the midst of it all.

Covered in the tears that seem to drop down like the rainfall.

Becoming more aware that this game of existing will never be played fair.

That within you is lies a house of prayer

To speak your life and truth into actuality

And live out your own reality.

Learning to accept what you see.

Loving yourself in the bosom of scrutiny.

 

 

 

 

 

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Sonnet

Why is that humans hate what they cannot understand.

Wrapping out heeds around the things we cannot expound.

Nailing us to these crosses then throwing us to the ground.

Continually working to maintain the upper hand.

Attempting to face our fears we continue to stand.

Fighting to change our circumstance as make no known sound.

Walking up the great mountains of fate as our heart string pound.

This world cannot inflict their scheme of hate that they have planned.

Living day by day to see tomorrow: a brand new day.

Showing hate the powers of love and being care free.

Educating ourselves and showing hate for nobody.

Teaching while enlightening putting all we know on display.

Running through the roadblocks flying down streets like a speedway.

Living for the day when love will be all the world can see.

AmeriKKKA

They been killin’ us at a steady rate.

Enslaving us controlling our fate.

We continue climbing uphill.

Our souls they cannot kill.

 

Wipe the tears from your eyes.

Don’t you dare believe those lies.

 

 

Awaken my child.

Don’t you get lost in this wild.

As we continue to grow.

Remember that we all must reap what we sow.

ABC Mantras

The creative process for getting this children’s book assignment created was a very trying experience. On a regular basis, I found myself running into roadblocks as I was brainstorming ideas on how I was going to bring this piece of art to life. I was mostly breathing life in a piece of literature. This experience reminded me of the moments in which seeds are planted, and it has no choice but to take advantage of its fate to either die or grow. This is a moment in which my Creator planted a seed within my journey that has the potential to become something big and manifest in ways unimaginable. I believe that this was one of the many moments in which I will have to work through those moments in which I feel lost and not creative to return to the basics and allow my creativity to flow. I intend for it flow in an unapologetic fashion so that the beings that come in contact with my art will be enlightened. Participating in the unprecedented opportunities to evolve and continue to take steps towards your greatness. I ended up writing and illustrating a children’s book that encourages positivity to all children. As we are growing, I think it is important to learn from a young age on how to handle the woes that come with existing. Even in the process of teaching the young, it is also important for adults to also be able to take away ideas from children’s books as well. The beauty of this book is the fact that it works on not only a personal level but also on a grand level as well. Participating in the endless opportunities to grow will interchangeably keep you young and in space to remain open and free.

 

childrens-book

This is the first page of my ABC’s inspired Childrens Book.

Champion

I remember when I got that phone call from my mother to tell me that one of my favorite cousins was gunned down by the Los Angeles Police Department like it was yesterday. Just as the words “Justin is dead” rung in my ears the tears streamed down my face as I made an effort to take keep my composure. At his funeral, as everyone was making their last rounds to pay respect to him the song Champion by Kanye West was playing in the background. From that day forward the visual from that moment still plays in my mind from time to time. The album in which this song was on Graduation was one of Kanye Wests many gifts to the music world. As the time passed, I would listen to this song when I thought of my cousin and needed a pick me up, or even when I want to push through during a draining workout/jog. I know that when I need some uplifting in my life, I can play this song and be reminded of one of the greatest people I have had the chance to meet so that I can be inspired to continue evolving and advancing in my life. This song has pulled me through some of the hardest times in my life.

Negative Attention

I truly believe that rappers that create music videos like Big Tuck’s “Welcome to Dallas” create negative stereotypes in regards to the city the artist is referencing. These artists are most likely associating the city as whole with negativity. These rappers come off as very ignorant and/or uneducated. This energy probably should have been channeled elsewhere. This is a vivid example of minorities taking to social platforms to display their ignorance for all the world to see. This negative exposure continues to contribute to the negative stereotypes that surround minorities. These rappers are usually one hit wonders. They fall off the face of the earth once the world gets their laugh. It is very unfortunate. 

 

 

780 Weeks of #nationbuilding

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Mrs. Clarice Weeks has spent 780 weeks (15 years) apart of the Quinnite Nation. During her stay at the institution she has had the opportunity to see this college #nationbuild even in the face of adversity. She has successfully taken full advantage of the platform that was bestowed upon her.

Mrs. Weeks has served as the Librarian of the Zale Library at Paul Quinn College. She was given the opportunity to work at this institution after moving to Dallas from New York City. During this time she has served she has had a great impact on the many great minds that come through the gates of Paul Quinn College. She expects nothing but greatness from the young minds she inversely has a hand in cultivating. Mrs. Weeks is one of the many key essentials that keep this institution moving.

The archives of Paul Quinn College is a great treasure chest of great moments throughout the journey of this institution. Mrs. Weeks has curated and maintained the archives to serve as pieces of history in the year to come. Under her supervision these treasures are taken good care of. It is because of her majority of the students at this institution get the ability to even have the chance to see the rich history of this institution.

Leaving places better than you found them is one of the many things that this institution attempts to encourage. Leaving places better than you found them is something that all great leaders learn to do. Mrs. Weeks has made this institution greater than she found it. A great exemplification of servant leadership. 780 weeks down, 780 more weeks to go..

Sports and Higher Education

In modern day history Paul Quinn College has established itself to be an innovative institution that makes unprecedented moves to maintain the continuous evolution towards greatness. During the Sorrel Administration at Paul Quinn College he discontinued the football program On numerous accounts president Sorrel has vocalized his vision and his wise reasoning behind investing money towards things more cost effective. From the beginning phases of his administration he was shifting the culture of the Quinnite nation to strategically take on life. This very move personified the sometimes abstract example of accepting that there are other avenues that lead to success. During the more recent years of his administration he has invested in a soccer program, and supports a basketball program. Every decision in regards to sports at Paul Quinn College is usually a step in the right direction regardless of critics. After analyzing the positive effects associated with being a sports fan I believe that at an institution like Paul Quinn College should invest in programs that are not cost defective.

 

Funding a football program is extremely costly to maintain without the proper resources. This institution avoided so debt and saved money in the process of turning the football field to the We Over Me Farm. Turning the football field to a farm served as an avenue for this institution to positively sustain and contribute the colleges economy. After making this move in this direction it is safe to say that this institution just might not ever intend a football program ever again. Investing in the soccer program is appropriate because it has shown itself to have some type of positive trade off. The college can be some type of diversity within campus because this sport attracts multicultural student athletes. It is also more cost effective to fund a soccer program.

 

The downfall to not financially funding an array of athletic programs on campus is the fact that there is a lack of school spirit among the student body. There are some activities that just do not happen because of the absence of certain sports. You must also realize that there are some students who simply will not even fathom the idea of attaining an higher education from this institution because of the lack of certain sports.

Gentrification of The Bishop Arts District

The Bishop Arts District is a place that attracts a lot of buzz in the north Oak Cliff region of Dallas, Texas. This Arts District is home to over sixty independent boutiques, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and art galleries. This is a unique neighborhood in the Dallas metroplex that separates itself from the cookie-cutter/average “united way of thinking”. It is safe to infer that the united way of thinking in based off of traditionalist and conservative ideals. The Bishop Arts District is not home to commercialized big business. This region of Oak Cliff has successfully used the tactics of  gentrification to separate a group of the citizens in this region of Dallas based on class, level of intelligence, and income. Appointed government officials have been gradually redistricting the Bishop Arts District to cater to the hip/liberal mindset of the people who inhabit that area. If you analyze the journey of the Bishop Arts District through certain lenses you can easily acknowledge that this area is metaphorically  sitting on the fire creating boiling a melting pot of assimilation in this ever changing/evolving. These redistricting tactics keeps the government from attaining to the needs of all areas that they directly/indirectly influence.

Over time the Dallas City Council has adopted new maps of the redistricted city of Dallas moderately. The city strategically gentrified portions of the city to subtly assist in the process of cutting ties from the non-active parts from the city. Cutting these regional ties subsequently disenfranchised districts of the city that have no idea as to how to assert a consistent political attitude to advocate for the people that occupy their neighborhood. You must conclude that this only happens because there are a large group of non voters who are unaware of what’s going on to even attempt to decided what they should push for. In the city of Dallas, anything south of the Trinity River is not booming like its northern counterparts because people of color have been annihilated by the liberal/conservative side effects of politics, and uncontrollable disadvantages. Some could call it the railroad track curse. There is just something about the southern region on Oak Cliff that essentially keeps this area from growing and failing to dispel/mitigate the true/false undesirable allegations. The Bishop Arts District was a place that afforded liberals of Dallas to construct a place that’s transparent enough for people from a variety of walks of life that can be thought of to come together and inhibit an area. An environment that usually filled will self-expression economic freedom, and attempt to keep a colorless feel. This district also has its trendy phases that may or may not have a direct influence in the growth and anchors that keeps this city evolving.

If liberals could make the majority see things as colorless and everyone was down to pay taxes for social reform they would rule this law of the land. This government assistance begins to tread the slippery slope that is Socialism. The areas south of Trinity River should somehow break their “curse of the railroad” This unlucky stepsister region should just simply realize that there is an abundant amount of potential in the vast amount of land.If appropriately taken care of, potential invests should realize the economic opportunity available in both parts(North and South Oakcliff) of this region could attract a variety of economic and social advancement.

The Bishop Arts District is an environment in the Dallas Metroplex that positively contributes to society in a conservative state like Texas.One must also recognize that this town was also built at the cost of businesses and symptoms of gentrification. The irony of it all is that the element of surprise slowly starts to escape once you actually put the pieces to the puzzle together. People of Color are usually the ones left behind and/or put to risk to because of a lack of being allowed by this government to support their economic stability, and ignorance. I believe that without a doubt that if more funding, attention, and attempts to rehabilitate areas south of the Trinity River on a consistent basis that there could be some booming arts District. The playing field is unequal based on the mere existence of implicit bias. Although institutional racism, gentrification, implicit bias, segregation, and this goes on and on exists the more unlevel the field will become. The best way the odds work in your favor is to become educated, become politically active, and be aware. This way you will always be truly free to soar in this world.

We created a virtual flyer for this project. In order to do something different, we thought it’d be cool to create a vintage style postcard from the Bishop Arts District, showing our journey through time.

The front of the postcard/flyer is below:

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The back of the postcard/flyer is below:

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We also created a video of our visit to the B.A. and interviewed some of its business owners and local business employees. You can view our video here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zeMXYTRUuM0

-Destiny Modeste & Austin Carey

 

 

Homelessness

The unfortunate circumstance that is known as homelessness is a problem that just about every major city are forced to deal with. I believe that is our government’s responsibility to provide services and create avenues to assist individuals that wrestle with the damaging series of events that come with homelessness. I guess I never really pondered the idea of owning a local business until I enrolled into The Urban Metropolis: Dallas course. The more I think about it the more the idea starts to sound becoming and something that I could successfully pursue with the right team and support. As a business owner one of the goals I would make a conscious effort to maintain is contributing and uplifting the community that I am serving. Although I do believe it is the government’s responsibility to effectively manage the issue that is homelessness under control I also realize that I have a part to play in this whole ordeal as well. As a business owner I would make it a goal of mine to reach out to my community in an innovative and dynamic way.

In order to do my part as a business owner I would attempt to host an annual food drive. This will serve as a way to assist the homeless by at least giving them some nutritious foods to keep the energized as they go about their days without a stable dwelling. Mental Illness and addiction is very common within the homeless community. I would also attempt to provide social services to the homeless community like counseling and support group sessions to serve as opportunities for mentorship and platforms for individuals within this community to get back to a place of stability within their lives.

My sole purpose in assisting the homeless is to at least give people apart of this community within my grasp some helpful tools for them to use as they take their journey. I know i probably will not end the problem but I am almost positive that I could potentially bring some type of assistance. Who know we might be able to evolve and grow in a way to help a great amount of people to get back on their feet’s. I intend to provide people within this community things that could empower and uplift them to become free from the variety of shackles that keep people homeless.