Why the Love Zone?

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love never fails

 

I entered a love zone after attending a church service a few weeks ago.  I entered after the choir had sang without missing a note and after the Bishop had preached a mighty sermon, causing me to SHOUT!

But as I was leaving, I saw a sister I knew so I stopped, briefly, to greet her.  And our interaction was so cold and so lifeless that I committed to standing in love no matter what. There was no life in her.

So, in that moment, I made up my mind that whether I’m facing enemies, frenemies, or loved ones, I will always stand in love.  I hope she felt my love as I hugged as much of her being as she would allow me to wrap myself around.

I hugged her in spite of her coldness because love is always the answer.  I hugged her in spite of the shade she cast my way, letting me know that I was not on her favorite’s list, because the bible says that we should love our frenemies.

I was born in the South,  and when you approached my Bigmama’s house, you could feel the positive energy.  As you climbed the front porch stairs, you could hear the women who were gathered together in the kitchen.  Laughter bounced off of the walls and joy flowed through the door openings.  My Mama was known for slapping the back of the person standing next to her when the joke was really good. So when relatives saw her coming, they would take off running while bent over in laughter.

In honor of my Bigmama and my Mama Soror Dr. Georgia Mae, I’m carrying on steeped in love!

I have also entered the love zone after living through the worst season of political chaos and racial disharmony that I’ve ever seen in our country.  Love is the answer for the challenges facing our great country.  I’ve written some stuff off my chest, which you can read on Huffington Post by clicking on the URLs below:

There’s another URL for a second Huffington Post article  at the end of this post.
Soon I’ll share on other platforms — film, TV, and new media.  I can do all things with God’s help.  The stories will not only be entertaining, but will also open hearts and inspire meaningful conversations among us about progressive issues.  I’m gearing up for a Stage to Screen campaign for the first project, which is Out of Bounds. We start filming a short of it at the end of September.
To take the journey with us, for now go to https://memekellyinspires.com/stage-to-screen-campaign/
I made another short home-made video to explain how God is calling me to share in this season.
Please feel free to email me at memekellyinspires.com to join our mailing list. Just put ‘Mailing List’ in the subject heading.

Love you,

Meme

P.S.  I know there are lots of opinions on the Black Lives Matter movement. Here’s mine:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/thank-you-black-lives-matter_us_57b772cbe4b029a9a465e213

 

Sister to Sister, Soror to Soror, Sister to Brother

SHOUT

Get your copy of SHOUT!  Lessons of Hope for Tough Times, an eBook.

It’s Free and  will be emailed to you when you email memekellyinspires@gmail.com to get your copy. Put Free eBook in the subject heading.

In these crazy times, we must all keep our hearts filled with HOPE & LOVE !

It was written during a particular difficult time in the country during the great recession. I wrote it to restore my own Hope.  And in the excerpt below, I explain the signs that God gave me that let me know that I needed to write it.

“My signs are revealed in devastating news stories and from calls with friends who are going through the valleys, the low points of life’s ups and downs. First, is the story of the ninety year old woman who shoots herself in the chest because she’s distraught over being evicted from her home after foreclosure. Then there’s the story of a Pasadena, California woman who commits suicide, another victim of foreclosure. Then there’s the family in Porter Ranch California, just a few miles from me. A man kills his wife and kids and then kills himself. He too is facing foreclosure. And there are the calls from friends that pull at my heart. Friends without jobs, income, or insurance, who are struggling to keep their kids in college. Another friend who is struggling to keep her son out of prison. When I talk to them, I feel weak in my knees, my heart breaks, because there’s nothing I can do to help. I’m dealing with my own mess and trying to stay hopeful even as I hear so many sad stories on the news.”

I can’t really explain the feeling that I got when God called me to write SHOUT or why I believe it’s time to share it again.  All I can do is trust God.

If you decide to donate a love offering, your gift will help me with the “Stage to Screen Campaign.”  https://memekellyinspires.com/stage-to-screen-campaign/

I’m building a team of artist to move forward, and it’s a huge feat and it’s costly.  You can go to the media page to learn more about plays I’ve already done.  https://memekellyinspires.com/media/

The stories that I want to share on the screen will be very entertaining but will also touch hearts! I want to love others by sharing stories, such as I do in Lessons of Hope for Tough Times.  And, deep in my heart, I know that the time is now!

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Love you,

Meme

 

 

A letter to my fellow Americans, 3 changes that must be made!

Change.070916

Dear Fellow Americans,

Last night my heart rate was accelerated. I could not sleep.  I had wept with Diamond Reynolds as she recorded the death of her boyfriend Philando Castile.  I had wept with Don Lemmon as he reported on the killing of Alton Sterling while recounting the fear he’d lived with as a black man in America. I had wept as the number of Dallas police officers killed increased hour after hour. The tears had unleashed memories of weeping for my cousin, an Atlanta veteran Detective, when he was killed last year in the line of duty, as shown in the following clip. http://www.11alive.com/story/news/local/college-park/2015/03/12/fulton-county-detective-terence-green/70236804/

I had frantically sent text messages to my three sons and told them to stay home until the volatility in the country had subsided. I had wept as I thought about the stain of racism that poisons the lives of Americans, especially African Americans.  From public schools applying harsher discipline on African Americans students from kindergarten to 12th grade, to private businesses refusing to hire African Americans, to African Americans being admitted in fewer numbers than any other minority group in colleges across the country, to simple acts of discrimination dismissing, ignoring, or thinking less than blacks because of the color of our skin, to black bodies being killed by police with little forethought as appears was the case with Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.  I had wept about the personal incidents of racism that I, too, had endured over the years.

But I awoke with the resolve of change on my heart.  It’s time for Americans to be honest about the deep wounds that have been inflicted upon us all as we absorb violent images in our living rooms, transmitted in live time by cell phones.  Those wounds have pushed blacks, whites, Hispanics, Asians, and Jewish — Americans of every hue under the sun — into the streets of American cities to protest the deaths of Sterling and Castile. At the same time, the stain of racism has wounded the hearts of blacks for 300 years, forcing blacks into the streets with the cry, “Black Lives Matter.”

Although the cry, “Black Lives Matter”, is heard at fever pitch after a police shooting, which is the most heinous disregard of a black body, blacks, individually, cry it daily when we’re overlooked, wrongfully suspected of wrong doing, treated as if we’re less than, which could be an act as simple as no one wanting to seat next to the “the black” in a classroom or on a public bus.  Such innocuous acts add up over a life time and weigh heavy on the hearts of blacks.

There are no easy solutions. Our solutions must address the complexities of America in 2016.  This complexity must not discourage us but instead inspire us to release creative energy and create new solutions that have never been tried or seen before.  We must not be turned around. We must act with urgency.  I have faith that we can change now! Massive changes are needed in three areas:

Change in the Us vs. Them Attitudes:  We need white people to weep with us.  We are all Americans:  black, white, Asian, Hispanic, Arabic, European, and more.  America belongs to all of us.  Heterosexual and homosexual.  We will survive together in love, or we will continue down a path of racial disparity, divisiveness, separation, violent extremism, and fear mongering.  We must acknowledge the painful past of slavery and discrimination and arm ourselves with historical facts so that we don’t continue to repeat the past.

African Americans understand that the darkness of our skin and the kinkiness of our hair are in deep contrast to the skin color of whites and the straight hair of blue eyed blonds.  Yet we demand that this contrast be accepted with love. We demand that a conscience effort be made by whites and other immigrants to move past our differences by learning about the history of racism, by learning about the history of slavery, by teaching all citizens about the unconscious bias that favors whites over black, as shown in renowned academic studies time and time again.

All American citizens must be charged with learning about American’s racial history.  American Immigrants, who may have had little or no contact with African Americans, are asked ONE QUESTION about race relations when applying for citizenship: “Who is Martin Luther King?”  That is not enough. Every American citizen must learn about the stain of racism on America so that we can move past it.  We must amplify our human commonalities and do all in our power to love each other. I love what Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton said: She will call on white people to listen to the legitimate cries of her African American brothers and sisters.

The Good News Project can help steer us in the right direction. http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/white-fragility-why-its-so-hard-to-talk-to-white-people-about-racism-twlm/

Change in Our Laws and Policies:  Americans must look at laws that, ultimately, serve to increase discrimination and to divide us.  We must be committed to repealing and replacing these laws so that all Americans feel protected, which includes transforming the system of policing in America.

We must demand that those who represent America are progressive minded, committed to the plurality of America, and dedicated to upholding laws that protect us all.  White supremacist attitudes must be eliminated from the mainstream of the American discourse.  We can look at countries like Germany for guidance.  After Hitler, the majority of Germans did not placate and entertain Nazis ideology and encourage such ideology to be a legitimate part of their government. Yet, in America, we are just now removing the Confederate Flag, a symbol of white supremacy that offends Africans Americans, and we continue to amplify voices, such as Trump’s, whose rhetoric divides us as Americans. Trump can not suddenly change his divisive ways. We remember the damage that he’s already done. We must also hold the media accountable for the well-being of all Americans. The media must elevate those who help us heal and who create bridges bridges between us.  The media must refuse to amplify divisive voices just to increase their ratings.

Change in Our Institutions:  We must eradicate institutionalized racism.  Schools, Universities and private businesses must be dedicated to inclusiveness.  We must be committed to having our businesses reflect the diversity in the country.  It’s also time to invest in agencies that protect citizens from discrimination such as the Equal Employment Commission and Departments of Employment and Housing in California.  Such agencies must have adequate funding and the necessary personnel to go after those that discriminate.  We must no longer allow acts of discrimination to be done with impunity.  Year after year, studies show that many of America’s organizations and private businesses have racist employment practices. We must be committed to eradicating these harmful practices instead of just talking about it and doing nothing at all.  To improve the racial disparity in law enforcement, police officers must receive training to understand their racial biases, and they must be integrated into the communities in which they serve, perhaps by being required to live among those that they police for at least one month out of a 12 month period.  Military personnel train in the field and such training should be required of police.

Finally, this morning, I look with shock and horror of the pictures of Micah Xavier Johnson adorned in his military uniform.  I stare and wonder how such a good looking young man could be filled with such hate to commit such horrendous acts of killing police officers.  I shiver at the thought that he had the same name of a five year old African American kindergartner for whom I felt was being denied services and being disciplined more harshly than white students while I taught for Los Angeles Unified school. I had cried to LAUSD administrators for him: “Black Lives Matter. Still, LAUSD sent a first grader  to a school for emotionally disturbed.

I write this to remind us all that those who are filled with evil and hate are not created over-night. They are created in our public school systems, in our prisons, in our businesses, and in our colleges. We all need to empathize and care about others, regardless of the color of their skin. Maybe our love can stop the next Micah Xavier Johnson and the next Dylann Roof in their tracks. We must integrate mental health services into all of our organizations and businesses so that those who are on edge and suffering can get the help that they need without feeling embarrassed about requesting those services.

Americans must be committed to elevating our country.  We must be committed to humanistic attitudes, and laws and practices that protect us all.  Our organizations must be committed to diversity and inclusion that will nurture us all and decrease the number of citizens that are filled with hate instead of love and filled with such angst that they must cry out, “Black Lives Matter.”

I’m praying for peace and healing for us all.  I’m praying that the violence stops.  God bless America.

Meme Kelly

Writer, Novelist, Playwright, and Screenwriter                                                                               MFA ( December, 2016) University of California

 

#stopdegradinghispanics

Martinlovenewdmin

06/09/16:  Stop degrading Hispanic Americans and stop talking about building a wall.  It’s analogous to saying that African Americans should go back to Africa.

To Commentators on CNN, MSNBC, and all the other networks, STOP DEBATING WHETHER DONALD TRUMP IS RACIST.  If it’s in his mouth, it’s in his heart.  HE IS RACIST.  TO ELECTED OFFICIALS SUPPORTING AND ENDORSING DONALD TRUMP, YOU SHOULD STEP DOWN!!!

#StopusingtheNword , #stopusingcolored, and #stopdegradinghispanics!

nword

 

Latest racist rhetoric and literature:

06/09/16:  Today I was shocked to open a racist email from Crosswalk.com containing the words “Colored woman”.  Crosswalk.com is a subsidiary of Salem Web Network, http://www.salemwebnetwork.com,and they publish and distribute a Christian daily blog entitled Streams in the Desert, which today had the post about a Colored woman named Nancy who said “…De Lord is my Shepard…”

It’s shocking to receive such racist emails in 2016. Please email crosswalk@crosswalkmail.com and also info@salemwebnetwork.com and demand that they stop emailing offensive, racist literature. They also need to apologize to African Americans who received the post. The post was written by L.B. Cowan.

Please see the complete racist email below:

Streams in the Desert – June 9

Trust in the Lord and do what is right! Settle in the land and maintain your integrity! (Ps 37:3)

I once met a poor colored woman, who earned a precarious living by hard daily labor; but who was a joyous triumphant Christian. “Ah, Nancy,” said a gloomy Christian lady to her one day, “it is well enough to be happy now; but I should think the thoughts of your future would sober you.

“Only suppose, for instance, you should have a spell of sickness, and be unable to work; or suppose your present employers should move away, and no one else should give you anything to do; or suppose—”

“Stop!” cried Nancy, “I never supposes. De Lord is my Shepherd, and I knows I shall not want. And, Honey,” she added, to her gloomy friend, “it’s all dem supposes as is makin’ you so mis’able. You’d better give dem all up, and just trust de Lord.”

 

06/09/16:  Stop degrading Hispanic Americans and stop talking about building a wall.  It’s analogous with sending African Americans back to Africa.  To Commentators on CNN, MSNBC, and all the other networks, STOP DEBATING WHETHER DONALD TRUMP IS RACIST.  If it’s in his mouth, it’s in his heart.  HE IS RACIST.  TO ELECTED OFFICIALS SUPPORTING AND ENDORSING DONALD TRUMP, YOU SHOULD STEP DOWN!!!

05/21/16:   The latest is a rap song with the N word being sung by affluent high school students at Brentwood High, a school near me.  Barry Bond’s daughter attends the school, and he complained and is calling for the students to be suspended.

What about the rapper who created the garbage filled rap song? What do we do with him?

April, 2016:  I’m upset by Debbie Sash, not her real name, a CNN commentator who said the N word was being re-claimed by blacks and is now a term of endearment.  They were discussing Larry Wilmore calling the first African American President a Nigga at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

For the record, I believe the N word should be banned. It is not a term of endearment.

Yet it is being pulled from my ancestor’s grave and dusted off. And with over 1,025,109.8 words in the English language, I question why

Please find another word that doesn’t echo with my Bigmama’s cries to be treated with dignity as she cleaned and cooked for white folks most of her life, while laboring with only a 4th grade education, resulting from living behind walls of racism, segregation, and poverty.  Please find another word that isn’t covered in the blood of my Great-grandma Mahalia and my great Great grandma Sarah who both did laborious, sweat producing, back breaking tasks in the fields of Georgia.

I want us to respect the ancestors with no voice.  Let’s respect the millions with brown skin who, while being called the N-word, were told that they couldn’t come in the front door because of the color of their skin, who had to sit on the back of the bus with Rosa Parks, were lynched in the trees of Mississippi, and were sprayed with powerful water hoses as they marched across the Selma bridge.  Let’s respect those with no voice who knelt underneath slave masters hurling the N-word to make them feel less than human, to keep them in their place, and to demean them every day of their lives.

They have no voice. They need us, Debbie.  They need us, Larry.  They need us, Mr. Rapper, whoever you are.  They can’t post pictures on Instagram of their bones in the grave, wrapped in cob webs of the N-word. They can’t tweet that it will never be viewed to them as an expression of affection, fondness, tenderness, sentiment, warmth, love, liking, and caring.  They can’t shout “Don’t call the first African American President the N-word.”

I love my brown skin. I love that African Americans are survivors and that we often identify with each other through the struggle of our history. Call me sweet-cakes, baby, lovey, survivor, strong black woman, but don’t call me the N-word as a term of endearment, for when you do, I hear nothing but my bigmama’s cries and see the blood dripping from my Great Grandmama Mahalia’s hands.

I hear the cries of my ancestors each and every time I hear the N-word.  I see the blood dripping in slave ships.  I see “colored only” signs. I hear the wails from the street down below the balcony on which Martin Luther King was assassinated.

Please #stopusingthenword

Its use causes some of us to feel extreme despair and sadness.