Tuesday, December 16, 2008

From the depths

The summer smothers me, turns me into a monster. I hide so you don't see my scales, my warts, my breath of fire, my abracadabra-hocus-pocus magic I use to haunt. I hide.

The season changes and I am returned to my leveled state of mind.

It is winter. You saw the first snow from your window. But you dare not go outside. It's too cold. You're too preoccupied. Until then. Yes! Then! You see it! The green. Among the dead earth, trees, branches. You see it emerging from the snow, peeking its stalk from the depths of snow. And you knew that you must save it. And you left your warmth, your home, your solitude to rescue it from the cold.

You saw life. You saw hope. You saw me.

I've returned.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Helter Skelter - The Attack on Obama

The Bougie Black Show

Great Music, Interviews, and Discussions on race, class, and gender

Episode 43 (Mid-week crisis): Helter Skelter--The Attack on Obama

Hosted by cultural critic and author Stephen Earley Jordan II, he discusses issues of race, class, and gender. This mid-week crisis episode, he discusses alleged neo-nazis who claimed to want to assassinate Barack Obama and 102 random black americans. He discusses how White americans are beginning to fear their elite status may be taken away once Obama wins presidency; and he compares these people to Charles Manson's Helter Skelter and theory of a race war; and he finally challenges White supremecists.

Sites of interest:
www.sejordan.net (The official Stephen Earley Jordan II)


Playlist includes:
1. Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood - Nina Simone
2. Cool Like That - Digable Planets

Enjoy! -- bougieblackshow

Monday, September 15, 2008

What are Black Folk Talkin' About?

White folks,

Have you ever wanted to eavesdrop on black people's conversation? Are we talking trash about you behind your back? Importantly, are our views that much different than yours? Here's your chance to find out what goes on in our minds. And, yes, it does get a bit racy, educational, and hilarious.

Click here:


Episode 39: Black Folks Talkin' (Discussions with Queen Esther)

During this episode, multitalented artist Queen Esther joins host Stephen Earley Jordan II for some intense "Black Talk" as they sit along the riverside in Manhattan. They discuss black women and perms, differences between blacks and whites, why black folks are scared of water; Texas hurricane victims; post-traumatic slave syndrome; hip-hop culture vs the n-word and our responsibility to the youth; Whether Michelle Obama a nappy-headed ho; Harlem and its gentrification and more.

Hotline: 206 600 6383

Playlist includes:
1. Get It Right This Time - Queen Esther
2. Revolution - Nina Simone
3. Florida - Diplo
4. Nowhere to Run - Laura Nyro
5. New York City - Queen Esther

cTitle: The Bougie Black Show
Episode: Episode 39: Black Folks Talkin' (Discussions with Queen Esther)

Ever wanted to eavesdrop on black folks' conversations? Here's your chance! ! ! This episode multitalented artist Queen Esther joins host Stephen Earley Jordan II for some intense "Black Talk" as they sit along the riverside in Manhattan. They discuss black women and perms, differences between blacks and whites, why black folks are scared of water; Texas hurricane victims; post-traumatic slave syndrome; hip-hop culture vs the n-word and our responsibility to the youth; Whether Michelle Obama a nappy-headed ho; Harlem and its gentrification and more.

Hotline: 206 600 6383

Playlist includes:
1. Get It Right This Time - Queen Esther
2. Revolution - Nina Simone
3. Florida - Diplo
4. Nowhere to Run - Laura Nyro
5. New York City - Queen Esther




Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The White Boy Tantrum

Black folk,

Remember when our black mommas would beat our tail for "acting out" in public?

Let me jog your memory. It could have been something as minute as asking politely, then angrily demanding a quarter so you can play the Space Invaders game at the arcade; it could have been as simple as demanding, and crying, and stomping your feet because you wanted a piece of Bazooka bubble gum. It doesn't matter. The point is--that growing up in a black household back in the day, you knew not to act like those "bad white kids" as our parents would say. And, if we did act up, especially in public it would have been the Black World War II.

A friend of mine told me a story of how he "acted up" in elementary school. The same school that his mother taught. After his teacher told his mother of what he did in the classroom, she peeked her head into the room, smiled, waved at him and said, "After school--it's Hammer Time". No one knew what that meant. However, he did.

When he arrived him, his mother's car was gone--he thought he was safe. He went upstairs into the house, took of his clothes, opened up his closet to get new clothes to put on--and instantly, like a bat out of hell, his mother flew out of the closet, red shoe in hand, and beat the living daylights out of him. (She hid her car a few blocks away, to make sure he'd be unprepared.)

My point is--one damn severe beating, we learned.

So a few weeks ago I was with a friend of mine, eating dinner. Together we noticed this curly-haired white boy throw a tantrum on the sidewalk. His parents continued to talk to him, child-like, begging him to stand up. Then, they ignored him and talked amongst themselves.

If this had been a black family--I'm sure the outcome would have been different. Take a peek at the pics.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

My Visit to a Classroom

MadLadyPoet of Appalachian Voices blog did a writeup on me when I visited her college classroom.

Here's the link to the full article:

Appalachian Voices

Here's some highlights of the writeup:

"The day of Stephen’s visit arrived and I was very excited to see what my students would learn from this lesson. I met Stephen at the fireplace at the Memorial Student Center and we went over last minute details. I would introduce him, and make sure that every student had copies of the excerpts. Stephen would then read from each chapter, explain his reason for writing it and then take discussion questions from the class. It all seemed simple enough, but I worried about how the class would react to Stephen. He was tall and slender with dark ebony skin, and dark curly hair that was shaped into a Mohawk. He was wearing jeans, a vest he had bought on Canal Street and an oversized jacket. I did not say anything, but he noticed that I was uncomfortable and he looked at me and grinned.

“You’re uncomfortable, aren’t you? he said.

I had to grin back. “Yeah, slightly.”

“Don’t worry. This will definitely shake them up a bit.” he replied.


Stephen read carefully from each excerpt and then explained his reasons for writing that particular piece. He told the class that although he grew up a minority in West Virginia, that experience taught him to have respect for other cultures and that as West Virginians; they had a lot to offer other cultures. With each reading, Stephen reiterated his point that developing relationships with people of other cultures could offer this class a great deal of learning opportunities. He also spoke out on what he witnessed during the 9/11 attacks and how Muslims in New York were treated directly after the attacks. To my great surprise, the students asked many questions. What was it like to grow up black in West Virginia? Did New Yorkers make fun of Stephen because he was from West Virginia? What was it like in New York after 9/11? The questions generated discussions that went into areas I had never considered. That day, I became a student too.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Bridget, the Prostitute

My friend, Derron, and I interviewed this woman who is always down at Union Square in Manhattan with a sign asking for money and claims to be a former prostitute. We interviewed her on video and audio for a few projects that we're working on. Because of the length of the interview, we had to divide it into two shows. You can listen by clicking on the episodes below, However I recommend going to iTunes to download it. keyword: BougieBlackShow

Interviewing her and her boyfriend had me thinking of some of my roughest moments, financially. So I can see how the idea of being addicted to the quick and easy money could be appealing. A friend I met in grad school (see story titled "Billy" in my book 'Cold, Black, and Hungry'), had committed credit card fraud in my name. Many authorities at the time had no clue on how to even resolve fraud committed by the internet. Not counting those bills, I was stuck with approximately $2000 of monthly expenses (rent, student loans, utilities). I was broke.

But being broke stirred my creativity. I painted, I wrote, I drew, I gave consultations. I worked. Never had I once thought of prostitution/hustling and selling myself for a few bucks. Never did I think about dancing in a club for a few bucks. BUT, when you're addicted to drugs, I'm sure all exceptions become acceptable. And, importantly, I question how difficult would it be to "clean up" your act. And, why is it that you're flying solo--the only one in the family that, perhaps, has a problem. Everyone seems as if they are in top-knotch working order. . . Everyone but you.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Opening the Wounds

Despite my frustration with the state of West Virginia as I stated in my previous post, I will always write about it. Just like my blackness, West Virginia has branded itself into my psyche. It will always be apart of me as much as I may attempt to deny it. Those who've read my books, listened to my podcast, or read blogs on myspace or blogger.com, knows that I like to compare and conrast NYC and WV.

With that said, I get email all the time from strangers, friends, and family who may ultimately disagree with my perception. Some write me in full agreement, while others write me to scold my decisions and perceptions.

Hate crimes exist, as does ignorance, poverty, discrimination, lack of progression, and discrimination of race, class, and gender. All of this exists in each US state (and even overseas). But there's an intriguing, Romantic, sadness in the fact that Southerners and Northerners may have a different approach for these subjects.

As stated on my podcast, The Bougie Black Show, several episodes back, I spoke of the Megan Williams situation, where the young black WV girl was raped, tortured, etc. Truly a horrifying event. I consider myself an equal opportunist, cultural critic. Everything/everyone is fair game in my discussions for analytical reasons. During this episode, I spoke about how down south things are quite subtle. People will smile and nod to your face, but the next morning your house is burned down by that same person who was supposedly cordial. However, in NYC--it's somewhat different. People will TELL you they will burn your house down, and follow through with it. You kind of know where you stand. There is no subtlety, no surprises. I kind of respect that more, too. You know exactly where you stand with others.

I've seen people in West Virginia be born there, live there, get educated there, and marry and die there. I've seen people in NYC do the same thing. In both places, there are people who think their homestate is Mecca. Why move elsewhere, they think?And though I recommend traveling and living outside of your homestate for awhile, I DO believe that NYC affords many other opportunities than most other states could. Afterall, as a writer, I'd be bound to a local newspaper interviewing NASCAR competitors if I still lived in WV. But in NYC, there's so much more than that. And, above all, how on earth are we to pay off student loans on a WV salary? It's like we're kind of forced to move elsewhere, once we get educated. A survival tactic, perhaps.

I agree, these atrocities against the human race are not solely a problem in my homestate of WV. It's a global issue. And, at times I speak about those incidents. Remember a few months ago a young boy, barely a teen, was shot dead for wearing girl's boots and having an overly effeminant demeanor? Perhaps one doesn't remember that. But it was a US state out west somewhere where this happened. Rodney King, Sean Bell, Megan Williams--each of these happened in three separate states. But again, I speak about WV and NY so often because that's where I've lived and these are places one could find my heart. That's where my experience lies.

And, growing up in WV as the only Black family in Wayne County, WV, I thought everything was okay. However as an adult, I realize that things never were alright. As an adult I have hot flashbacks of my youth of having been called Nigger, having confederate flags waved at me, having glass soda bottles hurled at my sister, having problems for me and my sister getting dates for school functions, or even good friends because our peer's parents wouldn't want their child hanging with "niggers". After all down south, one believes it's okay to "fuck a nigger" just don't bring one of animal babies home if she gets knocked up! These are the things I remember. And because I remember these things, I've grown stronger with my opinion on my purpose in life.

And, true, not all West Virginians are racists or even alike, for that matter, I agree. However, I DO strongly feel that the State of WV, the appalachian mountains seclude West Virginian's from the world at large. I've had to reprogram my thoughts because of this. We're trained and brainwashed into assuming that man's interpretation of christianity, sexuality, modern thought and social norms are firm and final. We're trained not to question things.We're trained to believe that things are that way because things simply ARE that way. There are no changes.

Yes, I'm hurt by the state of my State. And, I'm tired of placing band-aids on her open wounds.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Poetry is Dead

Thanks to Mr. Derron C. Cook, I have some amazing videos being released! Here's one of three.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


A few years ago I heard Henry Louis Gates, Jr. mention on television that he's from West Virginia. I already knew that. But the thing that did suprise me was when he suggested that he'd NEVER go back to THAT state. I was hurt. I was mortified. I was angry. But the older I get the more I understand his perspective. It's an truth that's been unspoken until now.

Normally, I'm extremely defensive when it comes to the state of West Virginia. Importantly, I used to call it MY state. But i can't any longer.

My God! Did this reporter attempt to find the biggest hicks in the entire state of West Virginia?

I wonder if I should comment on the lady who claims that Obama is a muslim and how we shouldn't vote for anyone who ISN'T American?

Or, perhaps, should I comment about the racist couple who believe Obama can't recite the pledge of allegiance and so cannot RULE properly?

My God! I've so many choices. Oh So many. . .

Clinton supporters, I apologetically say this: Look at these idiots and see yourselves mirrored!

Hilariously so, the only ones who seemed to have common sense are the Black folk. The best line of the entire video clip was:

Question: "Do you think WV will come out for Obama?"
Answer: "No, there are too many rednecks in West Virginia."

And sadly, or maybe I should say proudly, the Black lady who responded was telling the God-foresaken truth.

I can no longer live in a state that promotes and equates undereducation, lack of progression, simple-mindedness, and racial strife. I am sorry, but I can not. I am beyond that.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Myspace and the "N" Word

(Sent this letter to myspace 5/29/08)

To Whom It May Concern:

As a regular Myspace user, and a Black American author and cultural critic, I’ve used Myspace to assist in the promotion of my podcast and two books. It has been a wonderful marketing tool that I’d like to continue to use. However, each time I log onto this wonderful site, I’ve found myself accosted by derogatory, racially-charged display names toward other Black Americans.

Whether the terms Nigger, Nigga, or any derivative thereof are used as Myspace display names by Blacks or nonblacks is irrelevant—the infrastructure of this term is founded on hatred, segregation, and derived from Southern United States which still struggles to get past such prejudice. Should I mention the West Virginia Megan Williams case?

During my research conducted on 5/29/08, I’ve discovered:
• approximately 428 pages (10 users per page) with the display name of “Nigga”—totaling 4280 users
• approximately 144 pages (10 users per page), with the display name of “Nigger”—totaling 1440 users

According to the Myspace Terms of Service (TOS), a user is violating the TOS when:

• (Section 8.1) is patently offensive and promotes racism, bigotry, hatred or physical harm of any kind against any group or individual; 

• (Section 8.4) contains nudity, excessive violence, or offensive subject matter or contains a link to an adult website

According to Section 8.1 and 8.4, these users and others are violating the TOS. These words are offensive, promotes racism, bigotry, and hatred toward a group of people. These users also violate the TOS because their pages contain offensive subject matter with such language.

One would argue that these abrasive words have morphed into terms of endearment in various (black) communities. However, again, reviewing the site, the users with these display names come from a large number of backgrounds. I’m bound to believe that if display names defaming other ethnicities (besides Black Americans) were used, Myspace would correct the situation.

I urge you to help educate the youth about the inappropriateness of such hate-filled terms by requesting these individuals to change their display names or have the display names unwillingly reassigned.


Stephen Earley Jordan II
Author of “Beyond Bougie” and “Cold, Black, and Hungry”
Host and Cultural Critic of “The Bougie Black Show”