Culture, Life, New York City, Politics/World Issues, Sex, Uncategorized

Support and Attacks on Topfreedom and the T.I.T.S. Movement

As it stands, T.I.T.S. is a movement of one, physically. Although, in spirit, and through the power of their complaints, people are supporting or attacking the Right to Bare Breasts. I was almost arrested today. I quoted laws to the offending officers but none of that worked. The cops rolled up behind me while I was chillin, minding my business on a bench on the Promenade in Brooklyn Heights, and told me that I could be arrested for endangering the welfare of a child because their parents were complaining about me being topless. They said they had about 10 or 20 people complain, and if they had waited, it could have been 50. I explained that children are not being harmed, and I am exercising my right. Besides, children breast feed up until 2 or 3 at times. They were angry and frustrated and said that I wasn’t using “common sense.” I guess today was a test, because this was my second day to do this on that location, and I wasn’t bothered before, but I quieted my solar plexus, my will, and I used my head and calculated what the physical, emotional, monetary, and long-term costs would be to be arrested at this time. Output=not worth it. Maybe another day, but I still refused to agree with their reasons as to why I should put my top back on. They asked for my ID, and I said “I’m complying by putting my clothes on, so I don’t understand why you would need that.” Today, I understood the power of threats and intimidation to get compliance. I had no fear, I just didn’t feel it would be worth it to go through the discomfort of being arrested. I suffered a migraine and emotional pain all night, thinking about the man who I would soon decide to let go, for my own good and his. I’m sure he won’t miss the long texts of me explaining how my needs aren’t being met, and I will enjoy the power of balance, discernment, and exercising my right to end the relationship. He actually told me the other day “You don’t make the rules here.” But what he failed to realize is….I DO, I WILL…and most importantly I AM THAT I AM. I created him, so I can create another reality. It really is my right. I choose to put my metaphorical top on and leave the park of that situation crying, just like I did today in real life, knowing in both situations that I avoided a totally unnecessary uncomfortable situation. Sometimes the growth from situations can come from making a choice NOT to go through something. There are many ways to learn.

Anywho, on a positive nod to the movement, please check out a very POWERFUL response from¬†India Olowokande-Ame’ye:

¬†I am so excited to catch up on all this. Thank you¬†Itheopiah Chiamaka¬†you too are very powerful…I peeped yr goddess a long time ago ;). no I haven’t done much of anything on the internet. I had to take a break from photographing and filming and sit quietly, alone…for a few months. Gave myself full permission to do that. But I’m cumming out my yoni temple soon, soon. Also I’m finalizing my book, and things are happening offline. I’m abt to go get a glass of wine and check this out. Thank u, I love when black women bare our breasts and write about it. We are meant to be alive and loving outloud and all that juicy jazz. So just seeing yr picture magnetized mah lil smile, u have no idea! Xo…Wow,¬†just watched your brilliance and I’m sooo moved by your candidness, commitment, and sincerity. What an honor and pleasure to read your words and watch the accompanying video in all its rawness. I tell ya, I appreciate your movement and courage to do what u are doing. Now u got me thinking abt the “laws” and knowing my rights and honoring my right to do so.¬†I am out of doors, topless at minimum, at least once a day and I do believe that breasts are powerlines to the divine, and when I started taking time to allow them to feel the sun, wind, rain, clouds, grass, rocks, trees, wata, red clay ,u name it..that’s really when they began to come alive again, carrying tremendous life force energy. I don’t wear bras and stopped wearing them abt six or seven years ago and my breasts sit how they sit…plus I command them to do so u know. I tell my body how I want it to be. The mind has great command ova the anatomy and how smart the bra companies and BIG Pharma (because bras have been linked to breast cancer) are to make (some) women believe if we stop wearing bras our gorgeous breasts will sag, if 1. Its true 2. There is something “wrong” with breasts that fall….when breasts that fall are lovely and can contain just as much life as breasts that sit high. Also many women believe that their breasts will fall with age or childbirth….the body does whateva the owner thinks and feels it should do…that is the silent command we have ova ourselves. I love my breasts…omg …do I. Yes honeys I do…and my breasts know it too and that get all happy when I talk with them, rub them, kiss them, set them free, and tell them what to do. Girl I’m over the moon and off topic now, but I just love u Helese and I love what u are doing. I nearly in tears typing. Wheeee! Xo

I couldn’t have said it better. This woman is one of my role models. She so eloquently stated my reasons why I choose to bare my breasts and the healing therein. Even though I “stood down” today, movement won’t stop-today I chose to be water, not earth, and comply to fit into the container of this FUCKED UP SOCIETY….But the movement won’t end. Tied to my personal¬†liberation, it has only just begun.

Celebrities, Culture, Events, Life, New York City, Nonprofit

Join the 40/40 Club

…Maybe 40 is a good number for me. I always thought that would be an age where I would really buckle down and focus on my music. I felt that by then I would be fully in my womanhood, settled in my career, maybe be divorced, have a kid who adored me, and be fiercely independent.

This week I attended two events that were 40th Anniversaries. One was the Harlem Junior Tennis and Education Program‘s 40th Anniversary-Celebrity Pro-Am and Dinner Gala. It was held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, New York. It was a pretty snazzy venue as dazzling faces of all shades filled the room. Katrina Adams, Executive Director of HJTEP is beautiful, down to earth, and about the mission of the organization. She inspired this young Black Female to be as dedicated to my purpose as she is to bringing tennis to youth from inner-city neighborhoods while offering them opportunities for education and self growth. Some of the youth stood at the podium to receive recognition and give honor to various leadership in the organization, one of which is my best friend, Mekellah Matthias, who is the Executive Assistant at HJTEP, who is set to be the next generation of leadership at the program. Everyone glowed with satisfaction as the night went on, and as the tables were cleared, a glass of champagne was toasted as the stress of the weeks leading up to the event was finally released. If you know anything about non-profit, ¬†you know that the staff of HJTEP had to do a ton of work to make this happen even with hired help. The funds raised that evening will go on to support such bright and dynamic young people such as Vashni Belleste, now an alum, who will be attending college in New Orleans in the fall. To all of the staff at HJTEP I say “Job well done, now let’s pop champagne.”

The second ¬†event I attended I¬†literally¬†had to drag myself to, but I’m so glad I did. I was invited to sing at The 40th Annual Spring Poetry Festival at City College held by ¬†the University’s¬†Poetry Outreach¬†Center. I was sick as a dog that morning, but was able to visualize doing one of my favorite things (performing) in the Great Hall that evening. It worked. Writer, professor and Director of Poetry Outreach Pam Laskin, whom I met through JP Howard, founder of the Woman Writers in Bloom Poetry Salon (WWBPS), invited me to sing at this event after she heard me sing at WWBPS’s anniversary (but it was only their first!). I gladly accepted but had no idea I’d be sick that day. Still I arrived. ¬†They honored Barry Wellenstein, who founded the Poetry Outreach Center which services public school children and the writing community as a whole. The Great Hall, where the event was held, was mighty and massive in its architecture. The acoustics make you sound like you’re in a cathedral in the late 18th century. I was called up by Pam to sing my one or two songs a capella, and I was seemingly shy, because I was confident in my skills yet nervous because I was so congested. I sang a snippet of a standard, “Body and Soul” and then an original, “You Told Me You Loved Me” and then it was over. The gracious audience continued to thank me the whole evening, and I felt ¬†my sense of gratitude ¬†for sharing my gift grow. ¬†(And a sense of missed opportunity, because so many great people, so little energy and so little cards! Oh how I need a business card. That’s gotta be on my to-do list before 40!) The conn
ections you can make through¬†people¬†are amazing. I met JP Howard through a long time friend of mine, Akinfe Fatou, who’s new book of poetry Swoon is out now. The Universe is something, ain’t it?

So, there you have it. Two 40th’s in one week and here I am. I survived. I’m intuiting that the events of this week are only going to mirror, in a grander way, what’s in store for me when I get to 40. I hope you’ll stay along for the journey.