Raw. Unedited. Immediate & Incomplete Thoughts.
Days before the Will Smith and Chris Rock fiasco, I was reflecting on my life and what it meant to me to achieve Black Excellence. I thought about the people I was fortunate enough to cross paths with, who’ve been a guide to me in one way or another, keeping me informed, grounded and insighted with the other side of success.
I met DMX when I was 18, when I was relentlessly chasing my dream. We bonded deeper than me being a crazed fan, and him being the star that he was. We talked about real things and real life, especially being in the industry. He told me “Jerze, be careful what you wish for. This life ain’t really what it seems. Sometimes you think you want something until you get it, but then you realize that you didn’t know better, and what you had wasn’t so bad.”
I met Floyd Cooper- a famous illustrator and author- back in 2018 when he did an interview with my son about his illustrations in the book “Grandpa’s Face”. In 2019, he became my mentor after I tried to hire him to do the illustrations for me and my son’s first book “Froetry & Afromations”. Since Floyd was a famous illustrator with his own unique style, he didn’t do work for hire because of his branding. But he always checked in, kept me inspired, and sent me links to publishers looking for African American Authors.
He told many of his associates about my son’s book, but eventually, it kind of became a problem for his branding, because his superiors thought Floyd was representing us, when all he was trying to do is get us a foot in the door.
Because of this, he had to pull away a bit and focus on his own work, but he still checked in, still provided info and still wanted us to reach a level where he was permitted to work with us with a publishing contract. I told Floyd I’m going to publish my own book and I won’t be satisfied until it’s re-published with his name next to me and my son’s name as our illustrator. He laughed and agreed. He promised we were gonna make this happen and apologized numerous times for the way it has to be. I completed Froetry & Afromations on July 15th. I couldn’t wait to tell Floyd, but I heard about his passing on July 16th.
I started connecting with Tommy Morgan Jr. -Award-Winning producer, actor and writer- at the end 2021. We bonded over the fact that we both suffered from Imposter Syndrome.
I was going to do an article about powerful and successful African American’s who suffered from it but stayed motivated enough to keep going. The lineup was Tommy, Matthew Knowles, (Entrepreneur, Author, and Beyonce’s father) and Tanya Martin (Co- Owner of Mckellar & Martin Publishing Group LTD). When I asked Tommy for a quote for my article, he asked me if he ever told me he suffered from imposter syndrome, I told him no, and he asked for my number and we instantly connected. He told me he didn’t have a fancy education, he just had the drive and asked a lot of questions. He was hungry for success and luckily he had a rich white and successful mentor teaching him what he needed to know to get to the next level of success.
Now let’s talk about success and how it doesn’t seem to exist without the validation, approval, and sign off of someone white. Success is designed and created around the white man’s agenda, beliefs, and power in one way or another and that is fact. DMX told me to be careful what I asked for and in an interview with HipHopDX he also said:
The highest paid artist gets like 26 cents off a dollar. And they sell your shit for $20. I can’t use my own music without getting your permission? I wrote it. Paid a nigga for the beat. I paid you for loaning me the money, I paid you back your money, now we splitting because you owed me the money but you own my shit. I don’t owe you a motherfucking thing. Why is you holding on to my shit? And that’s standard. Get the fuck outta here man.
But this is success for black people under white supremacy.
Floyd couldn’t help me how he wanted to because of the rules of his contract and the concept of “branding” under the white idealization of elite and celebritism.
Of course Tommy suffers from Imposter syndrome! He’s a successful black man in American under the scrutiny and micro-aggression of white “Aristocrats”
Of course I struggle with Imposter Syndrome. Who the fuck am I? Yes, I won a nice ass award for “Emerging Female Artist of The Year” in 2021, but it’s not the Grammy’s. Yes, I started my own publishing company and published two of my own books with the unlikelihood of success because I’m a ghetto girl from Camden, NJ with a mother who barely made it to high school and a father that couldn’t even read. Half of the time I’m tripping over my own words trying to “sound” educated to appeal to and appease white folks. I got a bestseller for a week on amazon but did I deserve that title or did I figure out the marketing scam? Either way, I rarely see white people slighting themselves for their achievements but here I am second guessing everything.
So what is Black Excellence really, without the influence of our counterparts?
Who’s qualified to answer this question? Well I damn sure am, and I’m gonna take a shot at it.
First of all, Black Excellence needs to be acknowledged, agreed upon, and redefined publicly-by black people only, in a way that does not coincide with the concept of success and achievement by white folks. We need not measure our greatness by their perspectives, and we must persistently be reminded that white people’s whole “legacy” is based on forgery and misattribution.
Whether we’d like to admit it or not, in one way or another, somehow, we look to mirror their behavior, or use it as a guide to make our way back to universal acknowledgement, to become valued people. We behave in ways that are unnatural to us when we’ve reached a level of success by mimicking their ideas of professionalism and civility, which causes us discomfort when we “go off script.”
Will Smith smacked the holy shit out of Chris Rock for a comedic joke he made about Jada Pinkett’s loss of hair.
People complained that Will was laughing at first, until he saw Jada’s face.
Even I publicly commented that Will is narcissistic, needs to go do some soul searching, and divorce Jada, because she is toxic. But then I realized his laughter was an immediate-conditioned response to being in an environment where he, and other blacks alike, were constantly put under the microscope by white supremacists, while dealing with subtle racism internally. Eventually, Will realized what was said about his wife as he looked over and saw the discomfort in her face. As I watched the internet lose it’s mind over this unfortunate event, I noticed so many white people coming for Will and pretending to be #TEAMROCK for their chance to discredit Will.
Jimmy Kimmel’s annoying ass enjoyed reporting the news stating that Will’s incident left people uncomfortable and took away from many other winners that night. He also made fun of Denzel’s words to Will “At your highest moment, be careful, that’s when the devil comes for you” saying “Imagine having that on the tip of your tongue.” Well Jimmy, I’m thinking, of course you couldn’t relate because the devil kind of looks like you. I find it very interesting that Kimmel had nothing to say about the Harvey Weinstein incident on his show, instead he said, they could not immediately address the Harvey Weinstein scandal on their show as they did not have a script ready when the news broke.
Amy Schumer’s racist, irrelevant and disrespectful ass is playing white girl victim, saying she is still triggered and traumatized by Will slapping Chris. Back in 2015 when confronted about racist jokes, Amy said: “I enjoy playing the girl who time to time says the dumbest thing possible, and playing with race is a thing we are not supposed to do, which is what makes it so fun for comics. You can call it a ‘blind spot for racism’ or ‘lazy,’ but you are wrong,” said Schumer. “It is a joke and it is funny. I know that because people laugh at it.”
This is White Success!
Will Smith is one of the very few African American’s who’ve won an Oscar since the establishment in May of 1929. (Check out the article “The price of being invited to the party” to learn more). With only one black person on the Oscar Committee, there are talks about taking the award away from Will.
Some fans feel like Will did the right thing in protecting and honoring his wife. Other’s felt, it was criminal and an embarrassment to African Americans.
Let’s check out some tweets from fans (haters) around the world.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME!? THE CAUCACITY OF IT ALL!
Aaisha Joseph, Executive Coach and Consultant, agreed with Briond, and followed up with:
Both Joseph and Briond are absolutely correct. We need a black intervention. I had to check my own subconscious-self-hate and need for validity by the white powers to be.
I realized that Will and Jada are one of “HOLLYWOOD’S” most power couples- fighting hard to rebel against “BLACK EXCELLENCE” through the eyes of “WHITE SUCCESS”.
As far as their open marriage goes, and how it was being thrown up in their faces -with the comparison to how Will responded to August Alsina sleeping with Jada, vs the ill-timed comment made by Rock- I find it funny that no one ever shits on Dolly Parton and Carl Dean’s open relationship, or ever said anything about Hugh Hefner, who spent his entire legacy on publicly exploiting women, and having multiple girlfriends while being married. It’s just so interesting how the narrative is so different for these white celebrities.
We cannot keep rejecting our instinctual way- of-being, just to fall victim of white people’s brainwashing-commands: leaving us disarmed, confused and vulnerable. What I mean is, if black people had our own code of ethics to follow, it would probably be based around thoughts like:
“The most disrespected person in America is the Black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the Black woman. The most neglected person in America is the Black woman.” — Malcolm X
SO DEFEND AND PROTECT YOUR BLACK WOMAN. Which Will did.
“There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance next time.”
“Any time you beg another man to set you free, you will never be free. Freedom is something that you have to do for yourselves.”
“I have no mercy or compassion in me for a society that will crush people, and then penalize them for not being able to stand up under the weight.”
“Anytime you rely on your enemy for a job you’re in bad shape.”
“You’re not to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or says it.”
When are we gonna realize that in order to change our position, we gotta change the game. We playing chess not checkers.- Scarlet Jei Saoirse
Personally, I don’t think white people should have the power to participate in black affairs. We need our own systems, our own way of life without the influence, input, psychology, science or politics of white folks. I said what I said.
On the flip side of this, I do believe that Jada is toxic asf and Will needs to let her go. She is not team Will and probably never was and never will be. She is all kinds of fucked up and need to “heal” alone and figure out why she’s never happy. She suffers from a wide variety of trauma as most of us black folk do and is spreading her sickness throughout her entire family. It’s sad to watch. I wish that we valued each other more than becoming entertainment for white folks. I long for the day we’re united and have our own community affairs without displaying ourselves as spectacles for the white folk’s amusement.
A TRUE BLACK INTERVENTION IS WHAT WE NEED.
Moving forward, I hope Will and Chris come to their own realization amongst themselves, make peace with each other and successfully move pass this.