WE ARE: 5 women navigating our twenties in search of peace, happiness and love (or not). WE WRITE: about everything and nothing. From the insane to the mundane- you will find different paths taken, lessons learned and lives lived. WE THINK: you’ll enjoy it...Warning: Consumption of these views may leave you enlightened while intoxicated.


The View From Here will conclude on Friday, October 1, our third year anniversary. We would like to spend this month thanking all of our readers, followers, haters, visitors, family, friends, and fans for your continued support, encouragement, and comments over these past few years. Thanks y'all!
-The Five Spot

Friday, April 24, 2009

Five on the Black Hand Side

The other day I had a conversation with a young woman. We grew up together in the same church. So we know each other. But we don’t know each other. She is a recent college grad, wants to pursue a Masters in Public Policy and a PhD and then probably teach on the university level. Coolness. And she is one of those let me read and learn everything about Black folk, let’s talk about Black folk & they issues, and politics and poverty and classism, quoting Pedagody of the Oppressed type people. Now, there’s nothing wrong that. As I myself have engaged in a ‘what Black people need to do now’ convo from time to time. And I be reading and shyt, so I I can "quote" too.

But as we were talking, we got on the subject of Dave Chappelle. She LOVES him. I like Dave Chappelle like the next person, but I don’t think everything he does is the hotness. And then we get on Aaron Macgruder. She LOVES him. And I read the Boondocks, watched the show, but uh, sometimes Aaron be too much for me. And then I say, “I don’t like when Black people all the time be talking that Black shit.” Ok. I know right there I sound like a crazy Black conservative who can't speak English. But stay with me.
“How so,” she asks.
“I just mean, Black folk who are mad all the time. At erythang. BET. Al Sharpton. Bob Johnson. Condoleeza Rice. Baby mamas. Bill Cosby. The white man. Fried chicken and watermelons. The racist, white, media. Some shyt ain’t changing. Al Sharpton ain’t going nowhere. You can’t stop him from talking that mess or permin his hair, so you should probably just let it go. It might make your pressure go down.”

And then she just looked at me. Curiously. Like she was trying to figure me out. Was I a bougie, educated, out of touch, Negro who wasn’t down for the cause? Mayhap. Until I mentioned that my mother was a Black Panther in Chicago. And since we’ve already established that she loves all things Black, she went crazy.
“Like for real?”
“Like she knew Fred Hampton?”
“What did she do with them?”
“Um the breakfast programs, health clinics, go to meetings. Told the men that these ho’s they were sleeping with were infiltrating the party and they needed to watch they back.”
“Did she know Angela Davis? Did she know Huey Newton? Did she carry a gun?”
“Uh… Yeah. I don’t know alladat. You may have to ask her.”
“Oh I will. Believe me. I can’t believe that about your mom. I never would have guessed.”

That’s right. You never would have guessed. Because 40 years later, my mom is a woman who has birthed two kids, had several careers, received a PhD, is prominent in the church. She’s not the typical old head revolutionary with salt and peppa locs down to her shoulders, wearing pseudo African garb, calling everyone brotha and sista, spouting conspiracy theories to anyone who will listen. But she loves her some Gil Scott Heron. And she wore her black for the Jena 6. And if the revolution came tomorrow, she’d be right up front, ready to fight and die for the cause.

Last night as I talked to my mother, because ol’ girl did grill her yesterday about her old days w/ the party. I learned that she did know Angela Davis and the Cleavers and Bobby Rush. And that she was incredibly active, more than I ever really knew. And that she told ol’ girl that the issue was that whenever the down trodden try to rise, the system is always going to fight against it. Because they make too much money off keeping the down trodden, down. And trodden. Power to the people mama. And then she said, “And I told her look at Bobby Rush. He used to fight against the system. And now he’s working in the system. Trying to do what he can. Because that was a lifetime ago. And people change.”

Yes they do. And yet some of them stays the same. My mama wasn’t a hardcore revolutionary when we were coming up, but she made her beliefs known. We didn’t go to Afrocentric schools. And we didn’t call our daddy Baba. And we didn’t find racism in everything. But we knew we were Black. And we knew what that meant in America. To other people. And we knew that while our parents had made it, we still had family members who hadn’t. Still went down South every summer as a reminder of where we came from.

And so sometimes I shake my head at some foolishness that is up for discussion – that dumb shyt that be bothering us, annoying us, frustrating us to no end, making us wanna fight. Ignoring the bigger issues and focusing on the stupid stuff. And I don’t feel the need to debate every, single, minute, thing that happens in the Black community. Or prove my downness. Or hear Cornell West, Michael Eric Dyson, n'em speak everytime they come to the city. I got my "Blackness" down. I get it from my mama.

That's my time y'all! Happy Rum Punch Friday!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

video of the week

it's one of those days. when my mind is blank. but my head is full of work, life, love stuff. none of which is blog post worthy. so i decided to share this short video (shouts out to mrs meany for the tip) in hopes of brightening your day. it put a smile on my face.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

green day observation

Since today is Earth Day, I figured I have to talk about it.

With the new administration, minorities seem to be in vogue when it comes to green matters. Look no further than the EPA Administrator--Lisa P. Jackson. Prior to this appointment, she was the New Jersey Commissioner for the Department of Environmental Protection. If you care about the environment or are stoked in matters of environmental protection then you should know if you're going to stake out a career in this industry- New Jersey is the state to do it. It is refreshing to know there are black people out there that care about the environment with the credentials to match!

If you asked a black person (take Bellini for example) to sum up their take on environmental issues, one would readily claim that the advocates of this movement are well-to-do white people, traditionally from well-stocked families a la trust fund who can personally fund their cause. Access.

Let's evaluate the movement behind the crusade to stop buying bottled water. In my book, bottled water is a luxury. Trust me I know how much I spend on my 6-pack 1 bottle liter of Evian. The discard of empty bottles is overpopulating landfills and the plastic bottles are not decomposing fast enough. Is this message expected to resonate with poor, minority communities where bottled water is not the talk du jour?

However the irony in this characterization is that the effects of anti-green measures (pollution, illness, unclean water, etc.) hurts minorities the most. The plants usually get built on the poorer side of town (where minorities tend to reside) coupled with lax oversight. These communities are plagued with toxic emissions that correlate into higher incidences of asthma or respiratory difficulties among our children.

So, Ms. Jackson if your're able to modify the way all American people think about going green and coerce them to take action. Then the revolution just might be televised.

That's my green observation!



Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Staying Tuned!

So I have decided that I am going to be one of those parents who doesn’t allow her children to watch television. I know. I know. I must be crazy right? Especially being a person who is 1) cable deprived and 2) can spend an entire Saturday afternoon in Rum Punch’s basement watching a Real Housewives (insert whatever city here) marathon (of course Rum Punch is out living her life and therefore isn’t there). I mean I remember actually snickering at the girl in my Spanish class who had no television in her house. She was such a weird-4.0 having, Harvard University on a full scholarship, sneaking to watch MTV at her friend’s house, probably rich as sh*t now-girl.

I mean I love television ya’ll. But I think
children born after the great 80s have difficulty understanding that what they see on TV is not real, it’s for entertainment only! That for the most part, life ain’t like that even if it’s classified as reality. My coworker was talking about how her 12 year old sister got upset that she only got $40 to shop with at the mall. We are talking upset to the point that she threw a fit and was calling people names. Say what? Does this child know what I can do with $40? Can we say lunch for week, or a few new shirts at Target! But I ask what a 12 year old needs $40 for? And maybe my parents thought the same when I asked for the $20 that I spent on a movie ticket, some ice cream maybe something from Mickey D’s. And I’m almost sure I came back with change…I never said that it wasn’t enough. But we are in a recession now…

I guess in the world of My Sweet 16 and the Suite Life of Zack and Cody…showing these young folks faking like they earned the money they spend like the rich and fabulous; it’s hard for the young and impressionable viewer to realize that it ain’t their money…but the parents. I really don’t know because I am neither a psychologist or a parent. but I do feel like violence will ensure if my child looks at me sideways because I won’t allow them to have their way with my credit card. In my mind I can see how it’s just easier to let television working its soothing mind numbing magic.

But after watching an episode of
RuPaul’s Drag Race…which I found to be oh, so hilarious! And secretly I can’t wait to see the next episode. It blows my mind to think how a medium that once portrayed the likes of the Cosby kids less than 3 decades ago, has now expanded to show the fabulous thoughts and feelings of a Ms. BeBe Zahara Benet! You betta work it “girl”!

I don’t know ya’ll, I shudder to think about what our youngins will be exposed to in the years to come… Well actually I am shuddering more at the thought that maybe…they won’t be able to recognize reality from good ole entertaining fiction. But as a girl who loves tv but also enjoyed playing with cardboard boxes, I hope that there can be some sort of balance…so no one has to be that weird totally clueless kid in the class.

See You In Seven

Sunday, April 19, 2009

What Say You Courviser? Pt. 4

"It has been a while now. You need to start dating... you know seeing other men." (chuckle)

For the past week, this has been said to me at least once a day and it makes me chuckle. It makes me chuckle because when I think about women my age dating there is only one common goal. Most ladies in their mid to late twenties are looking for the ONE. The man to settle down with and start a family. Whereas I, on the other hand, am not interested in that at all at the moment. I guess you can say... been there, done that. It is funny because I liken myself sometimes to a divorcee in her early forties. My energy is completely focused on the other aspects of my life and I am okay with the thought of not being with someone right now.

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying I don't want someone to spend the rest of my life with but I understand that I may not have that and I have had to come to terms with it. I have experienced married life at its best and at its worst, for both I am truly grateful. Sometimes, I feel like there is a very limited supply of decent, single men to choose from for my fellow single ladies. Who am I to enter back into this rat race? Give someone else a chance. (chuckle) You don't REALLY know what marriage is like until you have been married. (not shacking up... MARRIED)

So although, I still hope to find someone to share my life experiences with however, I am not eager like I use to be. I am comfortable. There is no rush. And yes, I will start dating again but not for the reasons that you would like me to. I am not going date to find a replacement but because I found someone of true interest. Which in the meantime, may appear like I am not open to dating or open to loving again but believe me it is not.

Much luv until next week... peace:)