BE THE Only!

My God Is A Gangsta-Just Like My Dad

I used to think that people were just triflin’.

That the ugliness of their actions was an expression of their character. 

I used to think that people were vicious violent animals, wolves in sheep’s clothing, preying and devouring the most vulnerable in our society. Actually, in the world really.

And I use to marvel at the cult-like fervor of a people’s willingness to murder, maim, and lynch a helpless people for the sake of land.

As a young girl, I would steal books from the Baltimore Public Library to escape the cold reality of living in condemned buildings on the East Side of the city.  I read books like, “Sweet Whispers, Brother Rush”, “Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry” and “Freaky Friday.” I would read them under the sheets on my palette on the floor, trying to stay out of harm’s way

Sometimes it worked. Most times it didn’t.

Due to the extremity of my youth, I formed an unbreakable bond with God.

Not the God in the sky but a God that looked like my father if I had ever saw him. The God of my understanding was based on the Brothers on the corner and the stories I had been told about my birth father. Like so many Black Men in the early 70’, my father was a gangsta with his own crew.

He ran his own “trade” and was in and out of jail. He was a ruthless man. So much so he let my birth mother take the fall for him, which landed her in jail. With me in her belly. 

Needless to say, there was bad blood between them forever after.

Be that as it may, my visual of God is that of a gangster. And I love my God with the conviction of a child who never had one.

As I have matured in my faith, I realize the very nature of sin is survival. 

Human beings are wired to survive.

Survival makes people do bad things. Including fathers who leave their children  unprotected.

As I heal and emotionally evolve, I no longer relate to the ugly behavior of people as character flaws.

I relate to the behavior as a spirit instead of a character trait.

The spirit of fear.

The spirit of depression.

The spirit of jealousy.

The spirit of hate—

When I relate to my own ugliness as a spirit instead of my character, I have the power to tend to it. I’m not my body. I’m a spiritual being and l have human experiences. So it makes sense to my logic that spiritual warfare would be a battle of spirits not flesh and bone.

My God is a gangsta.

He is protective and kills for me.

He is everything I wished my father had been for me when people violently beat and maimed my body. 

Penetrating it in ungodly ways because my father was gone. 

As I heal, I’m reading new books that help me see my father as more than a huster.

He is the reason I am alive.

He kept my mother from aborting me.

Just like God knew me in my mother’s womb, so did my father. 

My birth father and my heavenly father both have loved me and kept me alive.

Perhaps my fathers failings are the key to my faith.

I do not know.

I do know that I am my father’s daughter.

I claim all the blessings that are my  birthright through his lineage—including all the survival he had to endure in a society that tried to kill him.

My father was an ingenious business man. 

He was charming, charismatic and able to flip money fifty ways.  

He was a leader.

Had he had the opportunities I have  he too would  have been a multimillionaire, but legitimately.

Black men have NEVER been positioned to make millions for themselves legitimately. From slavery to Jim Crow, to Convict Leasing, to the Three Strike Rule, Black Men have ALWAYS been positioned as the labor force for white wealth. Be it the prison industrial complex, to professional sports, to entertainment, Black Men can only make money for White wealth and NEVER for his bloodline. 

Even if we point to the “exceptions,” those 

extremely rare occasions when a Brother has his own wealth, he still has to answer to a government that can, legally restrict or burn down his wealth. Tulsa is an obvious example.

My point is this: as God lifts the spirits of fear, anxiety, depression, overwhelm off of me, I am claiming the following  generational blessings from my paternal lineage: genius, leadership, fearlessness, power, empathy, compassionate ruthlessness, charisma, collaboration, partnership, insight, wisdom, strategy, inspiration, and unconditional love. 

The more I heal, the more I embrace the best parts of my blood.

Thank you God for continuing to  heal me.

I now embrace and pimp my father’s love.


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