olivia-pope-2_240x340_34 gabby union



What’s good free world? It’s one half of the duo ready to hit y’all in the head with another post. After some discussion with my right hand man, we figured we should try to write a post geared more towards our female readers. I know as young black men, we sometimes get caught up seeing the world through only our Ray Bans. But we also know that’s it’s a whole other world when looked through a woman’s eyes. So with that out the way let’s get down to business.

Quick question ladies who would you rather be Mary Jane or Olivia Pope? If you don’t know who these ladies are as a black woman in America, you must obviously live under the rock. But for those living in the caves, Mary Jane and Olivia Pope are lead fictional characters on award winning dramas on national television. Basically the shows chronicle the everyday lives of the two ladies, the ups, the downs, the lows, the highs and everything in between. I think the concept of the shows are unique in the sense that they have black women being the lead characters. Lately I have been asking women that I have come across who would they rather be in real life Mary Jane or Olivia Pope and so far I have been getting back mixed answers. Read the rest of this entry »

Prizms and Prisons

Posted: January 21, 2014 by Handy in Uncategorized
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Prizms and Prisons

Hey everybody, sorry for the hiatus but the Handyman is back in full effect. Guaranteeing more posts at a more consistent rate is my goal for year 3 of BLWNL. As my co-blogger and brother from another have previously written, it is wonderful that we have followers who challenge us to stay more consistent with our writing. Not only does it show that you all truly enjoy reading our blogs, but it’s motivation to keep on feeding the streets with jewels of knowledge from two of the most intellectual coons you will find haha. Now that the pleasantries are out of the way, let’s get to the nitty gritty.

So I have begun a new job a few months back that has me inside of prisons 5 days a week. Luckily my job is easy, all I have to do is bring the commisary, give it to the inmates and go back home. At times it can be stressful, but for the most part the inmates are pretty cool. I respect all the officers that have to work day in and day out inside of a prison. It can really change your outlook on life and change the way you view the world. This leads me to an interesting conundrum. Many men I have had discussions with in prison often regret the decisions that put them there in the first place. Many of them feel that they view themselves as a totally different person today than they did the day they first walked into prison.

Do you know what a prism does? It’s a medium that misrepresents whatever is seen through it. In layman terms, it distorts whatever image is put in front of it. Whether it’s splitting white light into colors or reshaping an apple’s reflection in front of it. It changes the way you will view the image, almost like those funny mirrors you find at carnivals. Inmates are prisms in prisons. More effectively, inmates remind me of prisms because of the way they are viewed by the outside world.

On the outside, they are robbers, murderers, drug dealers, etc. This is the view that we have of them originally, just first looking at the inmate. But once you get a better understanding of them, you learn that these are human beings. Men and women with real feelings and emotions and knowledge and regret. That original image of caged animals that you may have of them no longer exist. And under all that hard exterior, you find a lot of times a fragile person afraid of shattering to pieces trying to serve their time. This is another aspect that makes a prisoner a prism to me.

Prisms are very delicate because they are usually made of glass. As everyone knows, glass breaks and cracks very easily. The same can be said about inmates. They are very fragile while they are inside of prisons. One mistake can change their whole life, and because of lot of them know that, they are very careful of how they carry themselves. They understand the delicacy of their situation and most of them will go through hell and high water to prevent it from breaking and shattering. But the beautiful thing about a prism is that when white light passes through it, it can change white light to the colors of the rainbow.

The rainbow can represent the finish line for the inmate. It can represent the end for the inmate. Or more importantly, it can represent the final change of an inmate. Prisms can either distort the image of a person or it can change light into rainbows. It can show the person the final change it became, and realistically it can be a beautiful change. You know the beautiful thing about rainbows: they come at the end of a rainy day. So after all that dreadful weather, still there is something beautiful at the end of the day to look forward to.

So I challenge all of those who currently know an inmate or don’t personally know an inmate, understand that everyone’s situation is different and unique. Even though they are currently prisms of themselves in prison, hopefully in due time they will become the beautiful creatures that The Lord created them to be. Prisms and prisons have a lot more in common and are lot more linked than we may think. With that being said, don’t just strive to be good everyone, strive to be great. Peace love and blessings until next time.

Check out the link for this video

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“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity. ”  Martin Luther King Jr 

Hey good people, one half of the team returning to talk to everybody.  In honor of MLK day, I figured I could drop a little knowledge for everybody.    Martin Luther King, Jr. day was first observed on January 20, 1986.   A day to take time and pay homage to a great person with great beliefs.  In memory of his movement,  I have the I Have A Dream Speech in its entirety.   I realized I did not read this whole speech until I was in my early 20’s.   Made me wonder how many people have not seen the entire speech.   As with anything, my wheels got to spinning.   So enjoy!

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself in exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize an shameful condition.

In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s Capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.

This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check; a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.”

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check- a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.

We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.

Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges. Read the rest of this entry »

dark cave

“I sit alone in my four cornered room staring’ at hammers
Ready to go bananas, Two vests on me, two techs, extra clips on me
I know my mind ain’t playing’ tricks on me,
I ain’t skitz, hommie, ain’t nobody drop a mick on me
It’s like they tryna plot a set on me
I hear this voice in tha back of my mind
Like mack tighten up ya circle before they hurt you”

A piece of a verse from one of my favorite rappers Beanie Sigel from the song ‘Feel it in the air.’  Now given the diversity of the people reading this some of you probably sang along, others got the confused face as you continue forward.   Well stay with me for a second as I navigate through my thoughts and your minds.  Allow me to explain my madness, rap is my heart and everything in life can be depicted through music.  This song more so this portion captures a dark time for the rapper.   He is stuck in a room by himself, with nothing but his thoughts.  His thoughts are driving him crazy, got him thinking the worst and plotting something dangerous.  The voice in his head telling him ‘ to tighten up his circle’ or pay better attention to things in his life.  Very crucial mindset to have, where he basically discussing going through a dark phase in life.   A dark period is something we can all relate, which brings me to the reasons for this post.
Lately I have been witness to people being in a dark place and trying to figure out the next move.  As the avid followers of the site know, my co writer and I speak from experience.  Recently both of us as well as close friends have gone through dark hours, (some have last longer than others) but still not the best nonetheless.    It’s interesting having the different conversations with people when that moment of dark takes over.   Everybody goes through their dark time differently as well as people are in different stages of dark.   Picture night fall after work, it’s not as bad street lights may not be on yet, still some sun light, things are still visually manageable.   Fast forward a couple of hours later when the lights kick in and stores begin to close.  Lights are on because sunlight has left but still somewhat feasible.   Continue to later in the night when the dark has set in and visibility is minimal.   This is about the time when you try not to be out alone or go down paths you never previously traveled.  Last there is the dark right before the sun rises, that morning dark that let’s you know a new day is upon us.   Life tends to work in this same cycle matriculating through to next stage of dark/light.
The thing about that is, as people we tend to get caught up in the degree of dark that we are at currently.   Understandably so, because it’s easy to lose track of the light.  Lets take 8pm, a time when street lights are on in Baltimore.  (This would probably be the second phase of dark as mentioned earlier) A person without a watch has no clue it’s 8pm, they just know it’s dark.  Panic begins to set in and you question when in the sun coming back out.  For those overreacting people somebody may even question ‘is the sun EVER coming back?’  Read the rest of this entry »

#2

Guess who’s back!?!?!  Yea man its  one half of your favorite thought-provoking pair returning to stir some stuff up.    I guess our site title fits us well,  the way we go missing for so long.  Looked up and we haven’t said anything in a couple of months, doing a lot of nothing and a little of everything.   Well I have returned in rare form and I come baring gifts.  For starters this post is strictly for all you good people out there: the followers, friends, casual drop in visitors, etc.   In my most humble of voices THANK YOU.   We have officially hit the two year mark for the site and I know we wouldn’t be here without the support of everyone.  This year was not as productive as it should have been for us, slacked a lot on the writing tip.    In retrospect numbers increased, so somebody out there checking for us.   With that said we got two years under our belt.   Sophomore slump hit us hard, but don’t let that keep you away from checking on the BLWNL crew. 

Read the rest of this entry »

The Masks We Wear

Posted: October 30, 2013 by Puff in Life
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What’s going on world, been a long time since you heard from your boy.  I appreciate everybody who has been questioning me about my next post.  Life been a little busy for me,  but I’m back like I left something!! Told people I had stuff on deck and I plan to come with it to finish off the year strong.

(Clears throat) Now that I’ve gotten that out the way back to the money.  Given the season we are in and the festivities that normally occur during this time, the title of this post is very suiting.  Halloween season is upon us, I’m sure all the supporters are geared up and ready to go.  Masks,  costumes, etc, the one time of the year where wearing ANYTHING is accepted.  I must admit I do enjoy costume watching during this time of year, always very eye entertaining.  I was asked ” What was I going to be this year?” Jokingly I replied ‘myself’ and the person gave me the straight face.  I later thought about it and realize I put on some type of mask or costume everyday.
Read the rest of this entry »

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Hey new world, your man Handy is back in full affect. Like me and my ace boon coon would say, I’m back like I never left baaabbaaayyy!!!!! I’m speaking for both of us when I say we will make a more concerted effort to bang out these blogs more often. How we have been doing lately this year has been unacceptable!! I take full responsibility for that and promise that I will do better!! Now that the pleasantries are out the way, lets get to the meat of the blog.

Dream Big and Stay Humble!!! Now when you see this, most people will say that this is obvious, but I mean something deeper than what you may think.

In the bible it states, Read the rest of this entry »

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As my co-blogger just wrote about the image of young black males in his most recent post, as I’m writing this blog today, I express my frustration with these supposed laws in Florida made to protect the everyday American, but has become something to shackle Americans. The Stand Your Ground law and the gun laws created in Florida are just now receiving national attention due to the cases of Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander. In case Marissa Alexander doesn’t ring a bell to you, she is a 32 year old mother of 2 who fired a warning shot in her home to keep her abusive husband away from her. Based on the current gun laws of Florida, if you fire a gun with the intent to harm a person, you automatically get 20 years in prison. So right now, Marissa Alexander is currently serving a 20 year sentence in prison without the possibility of parole.

So in the literal sense of the law it did its job right? Now take into account Read the rest of this entry »

travyon martin

Normally I would give a little background information, explain somethings about why I haven’t been writing or where my thought process is coming from.  Not today, I believe everybody knows my thought pattern.   A year ago I had a post about this case when it initially occurred, however I shelved the post and decided not to continue with the writing.  I can’t step back on this story today.   All of America knows that the killer in this case was found not guilty and cleared of all charges.   I have had this conversation with different people about this outcome, the thoughts, the reflections, the backlash.

Naturally within the realm of people I associate myself with, everyone is thoroughly disappointed with the decision given.  Many people are shocked that such a crime did not fathom any punishment.   Surprisingly enough the verdict didn’t shock me, I felt funny about the case since it originally happen.  The thing that catches my attention is how the judicial system has so many loopholes.  There are cases that happen every year that question the validity of how the system works.  Moving forward pass this case, America has made the concept of murder acceptable in the notion of ” standing your ground.”  Now families throughout the state of Florida have to worry about the possibility of losing a loved one in a senseless act and not receiving any justice for the situation. Read the rest of this entry »

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“Shorty just text me, say she wanna sex me LOL :-)” A couple of words from the Trey Songz hit titled “LOL Smiley Face”. Even though that song is a couple of years, it signified the change in our culture. We went from using our cell phones and telephones as a way to talk to people we care about and loved to not using telephones at all and only using cell phones to send quick messages such as text messages. It’s even gotten to the point where we use abbreviations to make the message even quicker. Lol, brb, imo, wyd, etc… these are all examples of letter phrases used in the place of words to make sending the message easier for the user. And now with all mobile phone carriers allowing unlimited text as part of their plans, it doesn’t look like we will ever go back to the days of dialing numbers to speak to friends and families.

Yes I will admit, Read the rest of this entry »