Like most people, I had my own big plans in mind for 2020. I was banking on a special kind of year, one that would prayerfully align me for the best life I was so eager to live. Spoiler alert: that’s not at all what happened, at least not how I envisioned it would at the start of the year. In fact, on December 31, 2019 I gathered with some of my closest friends in the heart of New York City to ring in the new year. It had always been on my bucket list so this particular year I…

By Tony Donaldson, Jr.

You’d be a fool to turn your back on me

I’m God-sent

With Godspeed

Call me planted because I’m God’s seed

Word made flesh

Promise kept

You haven’t even seen the start of me yet

The best is still unwritten

I’m a work in progress

A rewrite by the greatest author

Only finished after 3 one night stands

And a mean hangover held in God’s hands

I am God’s best-kept secret!

Clung to like grandmas precious kiss

Set aside


For such a time as this

I am Promise. I will never be broken.

Artwork by Stephen Towns

’til Earth and Heaven Ring…

As we draw near the end of Black History Month (an outgrowth of Carter G. Woodson and the Association of Negro Life and History’s Black History Week) we have much to reflect on. For many, this month afforded us the opportunity to pause and to give thanks for the rich history from which we come and a legacy still being written. For others, it has been just another month, a series of four weeks, and the typical mundane tasks of life. Many have gone this entire month without even pausing to give a thought to…

A few weeks ago I noticed that I was drawing close to the final empty pages in a journal that was gifted to me at the very beginning of this year. It hadn’t occurred to me that over time the pages were filling up, with every birth of a new thought or idea. In that moment I paused to skim the pages of this homemade personal manifesto. I began to travel in my mind to these moments in life. Excitement and optimism at the beginning of the year, victories and successful days, professional accomplishments and detailed notes to a vision…

Most people would tell me I’m crazy if I told them, “I’m a bird whisperer.” They’d give me a really crazy look if I explained to them how I wake up early in the morning and one of the first things I do is listen to the birds. I’ve noticed that birds in a certain area give a particular chirp that is different from birds that I hear elsewhere. This particular group of birds routinely sound as if they are crying out, “We need Him! We need Him! We need Him!”.

On a recent vacation to a nearby beach, I…

There is a famous saying that goes, “Good things happen to those who wait.” Most times in the Religious African-American community this is followed by the cliche, “I’m waiting on God.” It is used as an excuse to do nothing and to lean completely on our faith, but even the Book of James reminds us that, “Faith without works is dead.”

It is troubling to watch how modern day society, filled with distractions, social media, obstacles, and unavoidable systemic problems continue to cripple my community, and more specifically, my generation. We are in an age where everything is instant. We…

Pop Pop taught me how to tie my shoes. I imagine he got tired of watching me trip over long shoelaces when he picked me up each and every day from Elementary School. I’d come from the playground, climb into the back of the 2001 Grand Mercury (whom I have affectionately named Bertha), and cruise home with 102.3 tuned on the radio.

One day, we got to the porch and I tripped up the steps on my long shoelaces and he said, “BOY, SIT DOWN HERE!” I sat in the chair next to his, it was the first time I…

Like many people I started this year with a laundry list of goals. On New Years Eve, my girlfriend and I sat down together to write our goals, develop some plans, and pray over them together. I knew this year would start different because of how intentional I was on it being a great year.

And just like most people, here I am almost 2 months into the year doing a reality check: how consistent have I been about intentionally fulfilling those goals. I can accept, where most people would rather ignore, I must recommit daily to the goals I…

Repeat this aloud: I will not sacrifice my integrity.

Earlier this week a prodigal “family” member of mine who knows full well my financial situation as it regards to education sent a rather demeaning email to me, asserting that I NEED his finances but was too prideful to ask. This made me pause to evaluate and define for myself the difference between pride and integrity (something I see he, in all these years and opportunities, has learned nothing about).

Pride boast in self, it builds walls instead of bridges, and ultimately serves no one. Pride is not of God, and…

I don’t know how to deal with this, so I write. I didn't ask for any of this.

Inherited Trauma: Son of a Broken Promise

Many families have this seldom spoken belief in not airing the family’s dirty laundry. I’m sure we’ve all been told, “what happens in this house stays in this house” as you continue to hide pain, fear, anxiety, questions, and confusion. For some, that works. But today, I’m not sweeping anything under the rug (there is no room there), I’m sitting this one out on the porch right where it belongs.

Today, I write as a son. A broken, hurt, confused, and yet hopeful son. Earlier this year I was assaulted by my “father”. While he loves to tout that he…

Tony Donaldson Jr.

Native Washingtonian | Kingdom Man & Public Servant | Serving the community & telling the story of now at #TheDesk

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