What’s up Southside? I see ya’ll peepin me and I’m feeling your love for one of your native sons, D. E. Washington. I said it before and I’ll say it again, cuz I haven’t said it in awhile..I’m just glad I met ya’ll kinfolk..fo-real. From my homies from Sugarvalley, like Big Al Dozier (let’s go kick it!) to my church members that I grew up with and serve with at Blueridge Baptist Church where my uncle, Rev. Ceola Curley, Jr. Pastors. (Heyy Chee-Chee!!), to my sister Peaches in Atlanta (Wazzup El Dogg!), to one of my Scott-bloods, my cuz D.J. who’s TaylorMade in Kansas City, all my kinfolk up in Milwaukee, Aunt Ruth & Uncle Hildred, MilwauKEEFE!, Kam, Keenan, Kia, Valencia and all those General Washington descendants up in the Big Mil...what it do kinfolk? I know a lot of ya’ll normally don’t even get on a computer, but for those who do, now you know where to come to check out your brother D.E. Washington. Yeah, I know a lot of ya’ll didn’t even know Wash & Faye’s son was getting down on the pen like this, but let me tell ya’ll something WILD!!
I don’t even remember the exact day, but one day I was driving to work and I was immersed in my thoughts as I made my trek to grab that mule. That’s a common phrase for work, ‘grab that mule’ , for black folks or anyone who has dealt with that rural life of farming and working the earth. My mule was a lot different than that of my ancestors, they had to literally grab that mule and plow with that strap, my mule was an office with a telephone and computer. I never had to sweat and toil under the hot sun, coming home with your clothes drenched in sweat. My hardest days were all mental, the kind that just causes you to come home with that headache. When that mule really gets hard to handle, that headache will start on Sunday afternoons, when you start looking at that clock and realizing that it was less than 24 hours until you have to go grab that same mule and do it for another 5 days. From the burden of the routine..getting kids up and off to school or daycare, fighting traffic, car problems, marriage problems, health problems, legal problems, tax problems, ignant folks at work, more bills than income, Iraq..it’s a lot of things that can wear you down if you let it.
But as I was driving to grab my mule, I reflected back on a conversation that I had with my paternal grandmother. Those who know my grandmother, know that she’s going to keep it real with you. It doesn’t matter if you were the pope or a wino on the street, she’s going to tell you what’s up. I was talking to her on the phone one day and she gave me some game.
Son..do you like your job?
Yes ma’am..I like it okay.
What do you like about it?
I get a chance to travel and see a lot of the country, it’s directly related to the golf market and I like golf a lot, it pays me well enough so that my wife can stay home and take care of our kids and house full-time, my office is less than 10 minutes from my house. It’s cool.
Yeah..but when you get up in the morning, do you look forward to going there?
Uhh…naww..I can’t say I look forward to it..I just go.
Well that means you don’t like it then.
After she told me that we talked for awhile longer, but after we got off the phone, I found myself reflecting back on that conversation. Hmm..I don’t really look forward to going to work, so what CAN I do that I would really like? It seemed all of my career choices were geared toward the mindset of being able to retire with the most money at the earliest age. But then I had a series of events which began to unfold that made my path for God’s purpose in my life much more clearer. One of the things my grandmother ALWAYS used to tell us as children and even as adults was, ’Trust in the Lord with ALL of your heart, lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.’ Of course, this wasn’t her original saying, this is a verse from the Bible (Proverbs 3: 5-6).
After that conversation I made a more convicted commitment toward strengthening my relationship with the Lord. I read my Bible daily, I prayed for direction and understanding and ya’ll know what? The clouds began to clear and my path became plain for me to see. Once I decided to diligently try my hand at being a writer, everything else began to just fall into place. I emailed an essay I wrote on personal hygiene to my Stanford friends to get some feedback. It’s a scary thing putting your work ‘out there’ for others to see..what if it sucks? What if everybody laughs and says, ‘This n’ga is CRAZY!’, there’s a lot of vulnerabilities that going ‘public’ can create. But the beautiful thing is that the essay was received with a positive response as well as some helpful comments and suggestions. One of my friends even suggested that I start a blog.
A blog?? What’s that??
It’s short for web-log, it’s like an online journal..kinda like the one I have at tradermike.net
I took his advice to heart, because my plan was to start my own blog, then use it as a publicity tool to increase my readership base. That way, when the first book by D.E. Washington hit the streets, I’d already have a reader base to start from. While I kept putting out blogs, I began to learn more about the book writing and publishing business and I made a decision to self-publish my own book.
So now I have my own publishing company, Servinemup Ink, and I’m working diligently toward my first book release ‘Real Game’. The thing about studying the Word, is that it’s a dynamic affair. Reading the Bible and praying will cause some changes to come into your life. It’s one thing to read it, it’s another thing to LIVE it. But once you heed that call of Christ and you commit yourself to Him..it’s like being caught up in a cloud and you’re set apart from the way you used to be.
I was talking to my friend Dr. Chicken Head (ya’ll remember her, right?) one day and we started talking about Ma$e..or should I say, Pastor Mase, and his book, Revelations: The Light After the Lime. We both read the book and it detailed his journey from the wild hedonistic world of superstar rappers, to his decision to leave that world behind and take up his calling to become a minister and start his own church. Now that Pastor Ma$e is back into the rap scene, there’s a lot of Christians raising their eyebrows…
How can a Pastor go back to living ‘in the world’ like that??
He don’t love God, he just loves money!
I’m sure Pastor Ma$e isn’t the only Christian to feel these accusations and verbal assaults. I don’t have a heaven or hell to put anyone in, so it’s not for me to judge. But what I can say is that I know that the Spirit of God works with diverse operations and the goal is to spread the word of the risen Savior from the highest mountain to the lowest valley. Before I (or anyone else) should comment on Pastor Ma$e or any other Christian, you should listen to what he’s saying and you need to watch what he does. False prophets will be exposed in time by the fruit that they bear. Once you publicly profess your faith in Christ, your every thought and action are under scrutiny. From what you say to where you go and especially what you do.
I’ve felt this same pressure to some extent with servinemup.com. Some folks just ain’t feeling it, because they think all Christians are supposed to be holy ALL the time. Just like a lot of Southsiders, I like to do things that seem to satisfy us all, but once I started following God’s Word and striving to live my life and lead my family under the shield of His grace and mercy, that’s when I began to spiritually mature. And once I started maturing spiritually, a lot of temptations that used to haggle me down, become less and less appealing to me. None of us are perfect, but the Christian call is to keep moving TOWARD perfection. Not to wallow in fleshly lusts and desires, but rather keep moving on toward the glory.
All I know is that the Lord has blessed me abundantly and brought me in to His family and I’m going to do all I can to show all the hard heads, gangstas, thugs, pimps, hoz, convicts and all the people that Fanon refers to as the 'wretched of the earth', that Jesus walks and they all have a chance to join the fellowship of Believers. One of my uncles told me that there is a pretty simple litmus test when in doubt about your voice and actions. 'Whenever you get through doing whatever it is that you do, when all is said and done, who gets the glory?' If it's not God, then there's a problem.
Once again, I’m glad that all of you are coming out to support me, brother D.E. Washington, I hope you all sign up for the newsletter (I NEED email addresses!!) and I’m looking forward to serving ya’ll for awhile, it‘s what I do.