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Ugochukwu

  The Poetic Eagle

The Poetic Eagle

   An artistic journaling of important issues

and events that effect society today from an educated black

woman's perspective who is a member of

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.


"We had people of all backgrounds coming together -- all races, all creeds, all colors, all status of life...And coming together there was a quiet dignity and a kind of sense of caring and a feeling of joint responsibility.      

                                                                 - Soror Dorothy Height

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1. Thoughts on sexual perversion including rape,

incest and molestation and the detrimental toll it

takes on women and their families.

Can't I jog in Central Park without dealing with all the nonsense? Disgusting! D*mn...Ya'll men need to clean it up!


I still remember being a girl, jogging or biking through Central Park with my walkman. I would love to breath in the air, hear the rustling of the the trees, hear the birds, interact with nature and other people in the park. I enjoyed being around people who seemed to be taking the time be active and I would enjoy feeling like I was doing something good for myself.


The downside would always be, the perverts: mostly men, misbehaving and displaying unbelievably sexually immoral actions right in Central Park. In the 70's and 80's, you could barely get into the park without being accosted by naked man in trench coats standing on hills exposing themselves to children playing in the playgrounds. It was disgusting.


On the subways, men would sexually gratify themselves too often in front of woman and children. Many times, when I was young, I would have to change subway cars just to stay safe. I don't know a woman who could tell me that she had not been pressed up on by a man inappropriately. Just walking down the street, I would get groped. It was infuriating and it seemed to happen all the time.


Even sexually implicit eyes from older men bothered me and I was always disturbed to hear from young women and girls stories of incestuous relations, rape experiences and assaults. Young woman and girls would recount being assaulted after innocently rejecting a man/boy's advances. The mental anguish that these experiences caused were unbearable and they struggled with the trauma throughout their lives.


Thank God today the crime rates including sexual assaults, have significantly diminished. However, there are still those that continue to consciously violate others. This is so damaging to woman and children. I have friends that have contemplated suicide because of the emotional toll. I have witnessed women crippled by the trauma and become so impaired that it affects their parenting abilities. I have seen children exposed to these experiences or have had inappropriate sexual contact of some sort, have their choices become confused and emotionally become withdrawn or hyper-aggressive. I've heard of several people male and female talk about how being what they termed molested changed their sexual scope in a way that they did not seem too comfortable with.  


I feel sexually immoral behaviors are running rampant in our world today and they're crippling mental health of many civilians. I spent too much time as a child being scared of war and not feeling comfortable enough at time to go outside in New York City because I was nervous about being molested. Dating these day is still an issue with violent sexual attacks far too common. What do these predators get out of these attacks? Power? Pleasure? What ever precipitates these actions, it has got to stop!


I am happy to see new initiatives like Thrive NYC happening. They are steps toward better mental health for New Yorkers. More needs to be done about intervention regarding to children and sexual attacks. Then maybe, we may be able to break the cycle of abuse. 

  2. Michael Jackson: A character study of

American early child development, the

entertainment business, its toll on life

expectancy and children's overall mental health.

Michael Jackson was one of the greatest entertainers in modern history. In his songs, he told wonderful stories about love and the human experience so well. His recorded public life unfortunately told a tragic story of a poorly developed child whose life ended prematurely because he had prematurely began working rather than experiencing socially maturing appropriately from childhood to adulthood.


Michael Jackson used to complain about long hours in the studio and wishing he could be out playing with the kids on the playground. He would tell interviewers that he wished he had experienced school as an average kid. He'd also talk, through out his career, about having lost his childhood including writing a song about it . He'd talk endlessly about growing up around yes men and users that seemed to physically, emotionally and  financially drain him. 


He seem to have a love for music but, also in his brilliance, shared with his audience the conscious pain he felt from not having lived a, what he termed, "normal childhood". He seemed disinterested in the financial gains that as we all know we're hounded by but, don't end up being all they are cracked up to be. Most of the time, though it's wonderful to have money in the pockets" much of the experience of attaining it, can be draining. The western economy has never been a stable one. Countless wars have manifested from it. 


As Michael Jackson performed, over the span of his career he told the story of an uneducated man that did not know if he was black or white, who had a questionable skin disease or had his skin bleached, had straightened his hair, had transexual-styled/coon-styled reddening of his lips, had grown to have grotesque spending habits, constantly complained about being used and cheated by individuals surrounding him. He disfigured his beautiful face to have a more white/euro-centric appeal, constantly fought with his family, questionable sexual conduct (homosexuality and/or pedophilia), drug abuse and ultimately he died of an overdose or committed suicide.


In the picture above, a timid looking young Michael Jackson is holding a mask. To me, that mask symbolizes the perverted ideals white America wants to impress on the black and brown mind. Without a proper education, self respect and awareness, some of us begin to believe that those ideals are admirable and should be apart of our existence. I have seen other uneducated American talents have plastic surgery and bleach their skin in order to look more like the white American aesthetic ideal.


In Africa, the mask is designed to be used to tell stories about the social mores of the society. The mask is important in West African culture because it is an important part of the theater and entertainment of the people. The mask and the masqueraders are used, at market, gatherings and important ceremonies as a conduit for spiritual and ancestral connection and celebration.


The masks are not used by children. They are used as an educational tool with deep, religious, spiritual, and intellectual value. The male masqueraders, that are typically apart of a secret society, go through long periods of preparation and learning before they emerge to perform their duties as masqueraders. There is usually a certain age and confidence that the elders, who have been apart of the tradition throughout their life, has for the new initiates who are usually hand picked for this job that is held in high esteem.


The social commentary and mores of the people are then told by different characters and stories danced with a musician(s) accompany the masqueraders. The etchings, the coloring, the nose, the eyes, the hair, the clothes, they all are significant to the creator of the mask. The mask makers are experts at their work. They know what every etching carved means and what they are trying to relay in regards to behavior, etiquette,  

and class to their people.


Growing up in this country, which has such an ugly color and race history, I find that young Americans of color can get confused about their values and value (black lives matter movement). The social, physical and material goals/aspirations, and how to attain them, of white Americans are diametrically opposed to the goals of the African most of the time. I remember, before reading lots of books about how hair trends came to be, I was obsessed with getting my hair straightened and the straighter the better! I wanted to impress all the boys and look really cute!! Through my education, I was able to get a healthier understanding of myself and relationship to my hair. I was already very young beginning to do a lot of damage to my hair and if I had continued to treat my hair so harshly in order to look like what I perceived as the in style, I would have lost all my hair very early in my life. Through my education, I was able to learn how to take care of my hair properly and enjoy a variety of the latest greatest styles in a more healthy and appropriate manner.


I remember my mother and father always trying to impress on me the importance of growing well and in all areas. My mother in particular, would explain how many times if a child is particularly gifted in one area, may  sometimes being accelerated to an advance class, where they are with older students all day. It typically was not always the best choice. Their talents and education may grow, but their social and psychological maturing might suffer.


I believe rearing a well rounded child is a tough task, but is one of the most rewarding. Watching what we let our children take in is crucial to their healthy development and making sure that they reach beyond the stars in their education, talent growth, health and socially well-adjusted. It is wonderful to watch, achieve and enjoy.

 3. Women and Images in the Media:

the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

I am a fan of American entertainment, but to a point! The negative, racist, misogynistic, sexist, homocentric themes, and misinformation drives me crazy. The TV many times can just be down right toxic!! Sometimes after watching a program, I feel so angry and offended, I believe my stomach fills up with bile!!!


The American media machine constantly barrages woman, in particular black woman, with insulting and denigrating images that are designed to tare our self esteem apart and make us hunger for materials and products that will make us feel "like someone." I witnessed one white male late night comedian just blatantly call a black female fellow comedian "ugly, fat and bougie" He was relentless. How can you consciously call that comedy?


Some of the tricks used by the media are designed to draw consumers in so, they will purchase products. They use highly questionable moral means in order to do so. Other tricks involving photo editing try to target "typical" female insecurities to cripple female self esteem like skin color, body type, hair type, nose size and other American aesthetic ideals.


Though I find it is wonderful to see people from all walks of life beginning to more and more take the stage and flourish as entertainers and artist, now I feel there is a strong manipulative push for LGBTQ rights to out weigh the rights and freedoms of others and that this is not right or fair. I feel we should be looking towards the future and embracing a time where our intellect, talent, skills, treatment of people and work ethic, prevail over genetic expression, "race/color", sex or sexual orientation as the criteria used in regards to our employment and housing. I feel like the pendulum is just swinging the other way and fairness and civility are being missed again!!!


American culture keeps evolving. The 70's seemed to bring fresh energy and life to American culture. Positive integration, the continuation of the conversation about civil rights, housing rights, anti-war rhetoric and safety were hot on people's tongues. Then there was a huge backslide! The "decadent 80's." They weren't all that greats ininfluencing and defining American morality!! Grotesque greed and the lifestyles of the rich and famous became the trend. Selfishness and wasp ideals took over and so did crack!!


The industry has a strong percentage of artist and entertainers that identify as LGBTQ. Sometimes I wonder if there is a sexually competitive force that drives the LGBTQ, predominantly males executives, to keep women feeling less than themselves socially as the media is apart of a personal agenda. Are they trying to diminish heterosexual dynamics to aggregate more homosexual connections? Is that a wild conspiracy theory or just another underhanded and cheap shot! I also wonder about the western monetary design that, created primarily by white American affluence, is designed intentionally to fracture the heterosexual union or if it is an inherent issue with money and its use the reason. Sometimes it seems like many people are turning unwillingly to prostitution and engaging in LGBTQ marriages and relationships with white Americans and others not out of love but, the financial comforts that come with the practice.


Woman already have, in general, a social plight being considered second to men even though we are equals. Black women (and men) are considered third class citizens and even termed "third world people" even though we are equals.


I find it important that all of the industry is mindful that their messages are powerful and impact all of our lives. We converse about their ideas and works all day and that it is critical that they take their impact on our lives seriously (especially the impressionable images that children are ingesting). The media from the executive on down needs to be more responsible in their programming and remember that we are all equals and should be respected as such. As a nation we must continue to grow and in the right direction together peacefully.

TMZ Entertains and Informs the Public About Race and Color. 

Kierdan from Orlando Explains How Kanye, Onye (Pronounced Awnye) and Other Black Women Are Sell Out with Assumed, 

LGBTQIIAP Affiliates!

4. From Big Pharma to the Street of the Big Apple - Drug Dealing

American culture and economics has a quick fix mentality. From McDonalds to modern medicine, I am constantly hearing about the latest magic product that is going to change my life for the better. Well, the economy is now being built on the latest get rich quick scheme: pharmaceuticals. From the "legitimate" laboratories to the streets, fast and big money is being generated by drugs. One of the drugs my doctor prescribes costs close to $600 a month.


This scheme is beginning to spiral out of control and many people with ailments including myself worry that we are being used as guinea pigs and dupes for quick cash. I overheard one doctor tell another "It's like taking candy from a baby!", while they were writing me another script! I felt naked and embarrassed. I felt I was being forced to take something I was not sure would help my ailment and that I was at the mercy of my doctors. I could not believe he had just said that. I have witnessed too many screaming matches with doctors and the treatment of financially lower class patients like expendable just because the means are questionable. I once questioned the professional practice of having me wait three hours for her services. Don't get me wrong, she was excellent at what she does, but she replied with the embarrassing snipe "Well, what insurance do you have?" Huh!?!


Some of these doctors get real pushy about making sure the prescriptions are filled and I don't know how many of you had a false diagnosis or the easel pushing some weird vitamin whipped out after a clean general check up!! Or is that scheme too old for some of you to have gone through!!!


I like to live naturally and use my head and ed! African culture is rooted in natural healing. The use of healthy diet and exercise as the key to a long healthy life. Community over money including the use of a basically free system as the joy of the African village. The West's village is much more money oriented and drugs are hot, are humanity not!!


God's message in the ladder days is healing and it has always been about love: Love thy neighbor. We need to get back to that and not forget that all this money is a tool for us to have some fun with each other and we should not make it more important than us.


I feel we need to continue towards the dream of an equal and just world that our Lord would be proud of. Amen? Amen!!!

5. The American Dream vs. Economic Justice:

Justice, the community as a collective, equality, respect and civility are very much apart of the African and African American fabric of social mores that tie us together. The American social tapestry is quiet different. Built on the cruel involuntary labor (slavery), many times our racial/color identification, financial status, sex, drugs and a little bit of rock and roll well what have we ended up with?...misery loves company!


Economic inequality and the disparity between the rich and poor are astounding in America. We dehumanize each other through tribalism, cannibalism and the "them verses us" cognitive bias. We selfishly allow childish desires to stand out make us treat each in a more or less way instead of a more neighborly way. Our love to mock and see someone else down when we are down is destroying our souls. We need to rely less on the intrinsic value of money and more as a society on what we can share with each others which always is more love. 


I heard Meagan McCain on the "The View" quip one morning that Republicans stick together and Democrats cannibalize their kids. After some thought, I realized how real that statement is. Some women have their kids sell drugs for extra income to pay bills like rent. Some women have perverted men/women sleep with their kids for cash. Some people let their kids work in sweatshops or other inappropriate work environments for quick cash. Institutionally, prisons are built for embarrassingly cheap labor. Pharmaceutical companies sell drugs to keep you hooked for a cheap check. Meagan, don't act like the Republican God like idol the NRA is not cannibalism at it's worst as well. You can not forget the students at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Columbine High School and even at my alma mater, Wesleyan University.


Economic justice and equality also have their opposition to the American dream, which is more of a independent nuclear family style of pursuit of happiness and financial prosperity. It has its wonderful value of character development, skill refinement, stability and a host of other valuable treasures. However, seeing your brothers and sisters suffer while your on top should never feel good to your soul. It certainly does not to mine.

I feel finding balance is importance. Maybe, as an individual toppling the system and creating utopian financial bliss may not be immediately possible, but I find helping people by volunteering at church, loaning a friend a couple of dollars when in need, sharing my education so someone else, being involved in community meetings that discuss progressive issues and politics and voting, can help us help our selves and others in this imperfect system. Supporting/mixing more socialist and communist elements and programs that are showing signs of American growth while working with the capitalist system. Cutting the fat of the plume of financially worthless investments on magic and unwanted creations and vetting celebrities more on their education/inspirations creation rather than just to continue the white American aesthetics and homosexual desires of just a few. Trillions of dollars are being mismanaged and wasted. American children need to be fed well. In America, which is blessed with great opportunities, great riches, diverse people, and experiences, we can do better! 

   6. Deltas and the New Mental Health

Initiatives in NYC -

Mental Health First Aid USA

I have been certified and now trained to provide initial help to people experiencing mental health problems such as depression, anxiety disorder, psychosis and substance use disorders. For more information on the workshop go to www.nyc.gov/thrivenyc.


The ladies of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated and other pan hellenic sorority members are involved with the training. It is a wonderful workshop. I learned a lot, was able to review lots of general psychological information and learned many techniques that are helpful in aiding someone in crisis. I recommend it!


Getting help when one has a mental health crisis, is a step towards healing, restored normalcy and health. I know that private meditation time, prayer, exercise, proper diet, educating yourself about "the latest" in regards to your situation, psychiatric/psychological therapy, music, good friends, family and church are all wonderful ways to start your way to better health. It has for me. Like everything else every step (even baby steps) make a huge difference and the positive results do come. It's not always easy to self-diagnose especially when it comes to mental health issues. Being receptive to positive aids is always a great thing.


As the great gospel song says..."we fall down, but we get up! As my song says "love heals scars life leaves"...love heals scars on me! Remember you're not alone, love yourself through life and always do right!!     

7. Thank you Soror Aretha Franklyn

Thank you so much for your music and spirit Soror Franklyn. Your music continues to mean so much to me as an artist. From listening to you as an inspiration, to creating my own style, to having some of my best auditions responses after performing one of your creations and shows, you have been very important to me as a musician and woman. God bless you, always.

RIP

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