Tuesday, May 25, 2004

And the Winner Is...

When I first started posting on servinemup.com, my main goal was to increase my land. I wanted to hit licks on the Internet with reckless abandon. Keep em laughing, learning and coming back for more! But as I’ve matured, as a person and as a writer, I've readjusted my goal. As much as I want all of the trappings of wealth associated with being a popular author, I know that I have a higher purpose than material gain. So instead of writing for a general audience, I started focusing more on the Christian experience. To be even more specific, the black Christian experience. Of course, the marketing moguls cringe at such statutory ‘labeling’.

“Why confine yourself to such a small percentage of the reading population?? Hell, most black folks don’t READ anyway!!”

Of course my response was immediate,

“Well that’s even more reason for me to write something that they would like, it will help encourage them to read more.”

In case you didn’t know already, I’m black ya’ll. Anyone who sees me already knows this. I can’t hide my blackness, I have a LOT of melanin in my skin and I’m very proud of it. Even though I’ve never been able to conceal my blackness, I have been able to conceal my faith in my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I believe that He is the Way, the Truth and the Light, no one comes to the Father except by Him. Everybody ain’t ready to hear that. As a matter of fact, there is a large contingency of readers who face just cringed up and they got a bad taste in their mouth as soon as they read that name Jesus Christ.

Some readers don’t believe Jesus ever existed. Some know that Jesus is real, they just discredit Jesus’ Messianic claim. How these people deal with those of us who believe varies. Some just ignore the Christian message and refuse to answer the door when that Word comes knocking. Labeling all Christians with the ‘looney’ tag, much like how most black folks treat Jehovah Witness. I’ve been guilty of peeping through the keyhole to see those 2 Jehovah Witness at the door looking all crazy like they seem to do and I’ve tiptoed back to the room. “I ain’t got time to hear all that sh’t right now, I’m watching the game.” Too often people can lump all Christians into the same pile and criticize the faith.

Christian priests are molesting little boys! Christian ministers are sleeping with scores of women from the congregation! Christian bishops are gay!! Christian pastors are robbing their communities and congregations blind! All in the name ‘of Jesus’..hmph!

I know a lot of my purpose is to spread the Christian message to an audience that has never had it served to them in this particular way. Instead they’ve based all of their judgments on the Christian faith off of a person, or maybe some anti-Christ book they read. Instead of learning about the faith and the teachings of the Savior, they focus on the shortcomings of the Believers. A lot of this results from the ‘holier than thou’ attitude that a lot of Christians carry around on their shoulders. As much as I like to brush the dirt off MY shoulders, I know that it’s not all about me. I don’t carry myself as better than the next person, I just carry myself like I’m saved, because I know that Jesus got me.

The easiest thing to do when you’re saved is to be quiet and keep it a secret. Maybe talk to somebody at work that wears a cross and reads their Bible in the break room, but for the most part not letting the world in on to what you believe. I was a silent Christian for most of my life. Never denying my faith, but only speaking about it when spoken to. The name Jesus is hot out there ya’ll. It makes some folks start tweaking a bit, they get so sick and tired of ‘righteous Christians’ that they don’t know what to do with themselves. On the other end of the coin, there is a wonderful Christian family available for all who believe. Christian fellowship and congregation in its purest and sincerest form is one of the most rewarding experiences in life. Holding hands, singing, learning, laughing, living with others who know that Jesus is coming back is strengthening. We’re GONE on that Jesus mane! There is no turning back.

Going out on faith can be a very intimidating experience. It’s like being at the edge of a cliff peering down into a vortex that has no end and all. Those who believe have to step out there on that ledge and leave all those worldly things behind. This is the call of discipleship that ALL who believe in Jesus feel at some point in their lives. The person that you used to be is no more, you are reborn with new eyes and a new heart and all you want to do is serve Him.

I often use my fellow Christians as a beacon of light when I’m searching for my writing muse. I know there’s a lot of Christians out there having a hard time dealing with this world. Whether it’s with their relationships, their kids, their jobs, their health, their finances, it rains on Christians just like everybody else. But just when all of the trials of life seem too heavy and unbearable, that’s when Jesus steps in, always when you need Him the most. This unrelenting faith will make some snicker in amusement.

That n’ga must be crazy to think some Jesus-God dude is going to come down and SAVE him!!

Others will see this faith as a cop-out:

People pull out that Jesus-card like a parachute and then when they’re ‘saved’ they go back to doing the same sh’t they were doing before. Seen that!!

It is these nay Sayers and non-Believers who often wear on the Christian heart. A large part of out of the closet Christian’s lives can be spent in a defensive stance against those who attempt to discredit the Savior and refuse to give Him the glory. It is for these tireless soldiers out living the Word that I try to strengthen and encourage with the good news. Sometimes this can just be via the Sunday school lesson or maybe a real life recollection that highlights a common point of contention. At the same time I try to write such that those who have never heard the Word can understand and learn more about the Bible.

Now that I’m venturing out into the world of fiction, I’m faced with some interesting Christian dilemmas. How real should I write? Is it okay to write ALL the way real as long as the end message is repentance? Will people be able to differentiate the two?? The last thing I would ever want to do is lead someone astray from the path of salvation. Instead I’d rather yell, wave and point everyone I see into Jesus’ direction.

There He is ya’ll!! That’s THE MAN right there!! I’m just here to tell ya!!

That is the highest honor for a Christian. Evangelizing the Word of God and leading others to the Lord is what makes people saints. Onward Christian soldiers, marching on to war, with the cross of Jesus, going on before. I’ve always believed in Heaven and Hell and final Judgment. And once I got stronger in the Word, and learned more about what it takes to get into Heaven, as well as the rewards according to our works?? C’mon mane, it’s plain as day right there, either you’re serving the Lord or you’re serving yourself!! Choose one.

Everybody ain’t ready to serve and spread the Word. They’re too weak or too afraid, just not ready for all that. But look here, if you’re ashamed of Him, He’s going to be ashamed of you. Know what um tawkin bout? If you believe in your heart, you WILL submit, trust me on that one. This doesn’t mean that you will be immediately perfect and ‘holy’. This just means that you set yourself apart from the crowd, you’re His. That’s stepping out on that faith ya’ll. For those that haven’t made it to that ledge yet, where you have to decide if you’re going to step out on faith or keep doing what you’ve been doing? I’m trying to push you on out there!! :)

Alright…now that I’ve got ya’ll charged up, let’s gone and roll out the winner. I posted ‘Get In Where Ya Fit In’ this past Friday and I listed the choices for the next article. The winner was an almost unanimous decision, only about 10 people voted for Thankya Laude, but the overwhelming majority is rolling with the most popular n’ga on servinemup.com. Sit back and relax yourself ya’ll, Reverend Janky Just Got Out of Jail!

Rev. Janky Just Got Out of Jail - May 23, 2004

Friday, May 21, 2004

Get In Where you Fit In

It just so happens that my book editor is also a servinemup.com reader. She was so kind as to send me a nice little redline to my last post:

My parents taught my sister and I (ME!!!!!) about the pains and struggles black folks went through just to go to school.

It seems my Southside dialect often digresses from the laws of grammar and I end up sounding like some uneducated thug on the street at times, that's why I know I need a an editor. English was always my most difficult subject. Recognizing nouns, conjugating verbs, diagramming sentences were always arduous tasks for me. The main thing that saved me from being below average and trapped in a ghetto vocabulary was the fact that I always liked to read. The problem with a lot of lower income kids (over 50% of the students at Worthing qualify for the reduced lunch program) is that their language skills are rooted in the diction they hear at home. Kids who have parents that are completely ignorant, have a lot steeper slope to climb, because they rarely get a chance to hear, let alone learn proper grammar in their homes..

Momma, I need some help with my homework.

Chile, you betta gone in there and figure that sh’t out fo yo’self! I already been to school and I got my GED, you need to get yours, I got MINE!

Some parents aren’t ignorant, they’re just uneducated and they don’t have the academic foundation to help their children..

Daddy, I need some help diagramming these sentences.

Diagramming sentences?? Is that some kinda drawing class??

No, it’s what we have to do in English. I don’t know understand what we’re supposed to do with past participles

(staring at the book the child is holding up…and staring…maybe blinking a couple of times)

Hello? Dad?

Uhhhhh…you betta wait til your momma gets home so she can help you with that.

Some parents feel ashamed or embarrassed when they don’t know how to help their child with their homework. Instead of feeling ashamed, I think parents should seize the opportunity to learn along with their child. Whether by contacting a friend or family member who CAN help, or even getting a tutor, the resources are likely there when you look for them. Those who just give up and don’t try are the ones that end up being left behind.
Bill Cosby spoke at a gala in Washington D.C. that was commemorating the 50th anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education this past Monday. There were a couple of remarks he made contrasting the civil rights pioneers of the 60’s with some of today’s black folks that ruffled a few feathers:

"These people marched and were hit in the face with rocks to get an education, and now we've got these knuckleheads walking around," he declared. "The lower economic people are not holding up their end in this deal. These people are not parenting. They are buying things for kids - $500 sneakers for what? And won't spend $200 for 'Hooked on Phonics."

Some have since taken offense at Cosby’s remark, but everybody on the Southside knows that he’s right on point. So many parents are rushing to buy their children the latest sneakers or designer jeans and so few are making the sacrifices necessary to ensure their child a quality education. There’s a steady warping of the black family’s value system that is diminishing the quest for scholarship while instead exalting the desires to ‘look fresh’.

This is best exemplified by the students who arrive to class dressed in expensive clothes that most of their teachers can’t even afford to buy. Starched down and creased up fresh out of the cleaners, fresh haircut, nails and toes freshly polished, or with the latest $200 pair of sneakers on their feet and yet they don’t have any paper or pencil to write with. Just walking around the school LOOKING fresh, or LOOKING cool, but not striving to learn anything. These are the kids who fall through the cracks and get left behind. Arranging their schedules to get the easiest teachers. Most of them don’t even care about getting A’s, they just want to score high enough to pass so that they can graduate. Instead of enrolling in classes that will challenge them, they enroll in the classes they can play cards or dominoes in.

The real sad part about it, is that most of these students are not dumb. They have the memory capacity to recite volumes of rap lyrics and they know how to measure the difference between 19” and 20” rims from blocks away. The problem is misdirected values. Since their parents don’t demand academic ambition from them, or their running podnas aren’t really into school, they follow suit and wallow with the ‘slackers’. The last ones to arrive to class, sitting in the back of the classroom, only paying attention when the teacher demands it. Otherwise they’re in their own world, passing notes, writing rhymes, sleeping, whatever it takes to kill time. Never even once thinking to apply themselves to really see how much they can learn.

There was another quote from Bill Cosby at this gala that I actually found quite amusing:

"I can't even talk the way these people talk: 'Why you ain't,' 'Where you is' ... You can't be a doctor with that kind of crap coming out of your mouth!"
Just imagining Bill Cosby saying, ‘Why you ain’t, ‘Where you is’ makes me laugh,because I know this is the same dialect that would cause someone to say , ‘Gimme a nuddin’. But what it really made me think about was Mushmouth. Those who watched the Fat Albert cartoons (created by Bill Cosby) know that Mushmouth was the character that nobody could understand. Of course Mushmouth’s main problem was a speech impediment, but it wasn’t like Fat Albert, Weird Harold or Dumb Donald and the gang were grammatical genius’ either!

There are very few people that have complete command of the English language. Everyone has their moments of mispronouncing words, misusing phrases or making grammatical mistakes. But once a person commits themselves to scholarship, striving to achieve, that’s when progression in communication skills are made. There are people who have been living in this country for only a few years that can speak better English than a lot of black folks. It’s not because these black folks can’t learn proper grammar, it’s because they don’t even TRY. On top of that, there’s large segments of the black community that actually ostracizes proper speaking blacks. Quite often these students are jeered at just because they ‘talk white’. Those who succumb to this peer pressure and fall into the ‘cool’ group are actually pressured into being mo’ ignant.

I grew up with the distinction of sounding like a ‘white boy’ to a lot of my hood friends. But around my classmates at my predominately white elementary school, I talked ‘funny’. To them I sounded just like Arnold ‘Whatchu tawkin bout Willis!??’ from Different Strokes. I learned how to alternate my dialect between the two worlds, and it’s a skill that I still use quite often today. Some may see this as ‘selling out’ or ‘playing Uncle Tom to them white folks’, I just see it as a key survival skill. There’s a lot of opportunities that would have been closed off for me if I wasn’t able to effectively communicate with the group. This applies on the professional level as well as in the hood. I’m sure every black person has to deal with this dual system of communication on some level or another. Some people are so entrenched in being ‘black’ that they go around talking like a d’mn fool thinking it makes them cool. Others are so ‘gone’ trying to impress white folks that they act like they’ve never heard a split verb before in their lives. At some point we all have to find a balance that is above all else, true to ourselves. Or as we say on the Southside, ‘Get in where ya fit in fool!’

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Game Over!

Everytime I drop some Southside lingo (e.g. Hittin Licks, Swangin and Bangin) into the mix, all of the natives (what's up LaGette!) from the Southside of Houston get HYPED!!...

Holeup dawg!! Yo az is a d’mn fool!! (laughing)


‘back for a nuddin’, mane??!! (laughing) I had to close my door at work cuz you had me laughing so hard!!

I really appreciate all of the support I get from my Southside family because they know when I get my time under the spotlight I’m going to represent my hood. Judging from some of the comments I receive, it’s obvious that everyone doesn’t understand all of my vernacular. Some of the people who know me only in the business realm have even commented,

I didn’t know you knew how to talk like that.

Talk like what?

You know..saying, ‘mane’ or ‘a nud-den’, what exactly is a ‘nud-den’ by the way?

It’s an ebonic contraction for ‘another one’.

So let me get this straight, instead of saying ‘another one’, you say, ‘a nud-den’?

More like nuddin..it’s not chopped up, it flows like one word.


Nuuud’n…hard on the ‘uh’

Watching an Ivy League educated white woman say ‘nuddin’ is actually quite amusing to me. Although I use a lot of my native Southside dialect when I write, I try to make sure to throw in enough context clues so that those who have never seen or heard the word can pick up on its meaning. I figured I’m not the only one who’s completely clueless when I read classical writers such as Shakespeare, so I might as well get down like I know how. If I don’t get down for the Southside, no other writer will.

The real strange thing, is when I get feedback from people in Southeast DC or Oakland, CA and they’re right there with me. It seems my native tongue works in more places than just the Southside of Houston and for that I’m grateful. A lot of Southside readers recognized the location where I photographed the car ‘swangin and bangin’ because the pictures were taken directly in front of Worthing High School on Reed Rd. Worthing is the neighborhood public school for an area known as Sunnyside located deep on the Southside. A picture of Worthing students in a hallway was on the cover of this past Sunday’s Houston Chronicle newspaper. The story centered around the 50th anniversary of the Brown vs. Board of Education ruling that mandated public school integration.

The irony of the article, was that 50 years after this landmark ruling, Worthing has the distinction of having the largest percentage of black students (96.1%) of all the Houston public schools. I guess in some ways, Worthing can be considered as the blackest school in Houston, and there are some people who have a problem with that.

When Thurgood Marshall presented the case of Brown vs. Board of Education to the Supreme Court in the early 50’s, the infrastructure of America was still rooted in white resentment. There was a lot of white folks in power who were still pissed that the slaves were freed and they’d be damned if they were going to have their kids sitting in the same classroom with those ‘niggers’. The landscape in Houston was deeply rooted in Jim Crow laws, as was most cities in the South. So after the first blacks started integrating into the Houston public school systems, a lot of old school white folks said, ‘It’s time to move somewhere where we don’t have to be around no niggers unless they’re serving us.’ This phenomena is what some call ‘white flight’. White folks started sending their kids to private all-white schools or moving to all-white suburbs so they wouldn’t have to deal with all the integration madness.

On the other end of the coin, you have a large and growing black community that was finally allowed to send their children to schools that weren’t overcrowded, under funded and neglected as so many of the ‘colored’ schools of the South were. Both my parents attended segregated public schools in Arkansas, even after the Brown ruling was made into law. My parents taught my sister and I about the pains and struggles black folks wentthrough just to go to school. From the National Guard having to be called in to Central High School in Little Rock, to all of the young black kids who had to be pioneers in their communities since they were on the frontline of integrating our nation’s school system. Obviously these stories aren’t all pretty, young black kids had to endure taunts, being spit on, ridiculed, cursed at and even objects thrown at them, just because they were trying to get an education equivalent to what the white folks had.

Now we’re 50 years from the ruling and activist are decrying the fact that schools like Worthing are too segregated, or ‘too black’ in this instance. Most of the kids that attend Worthing are neighborhood kids, they can walk to school or take a short bus ride. Obviously everyone should have the right to attend their neighborhood school if they want to, but the deeper problem is the inherent lack of diversity in the student body. Living in an all-black environment is one thing, but at some point, everybody needs to be able to communicate to the larger world. The Southside dialect and lingo is fine close to the house, but once you get in front of them white folks trying to get a job, they’re not trying to hear all that, ‘Mane, I messed up my paper! I need a nuddin!’. That’s the kind of bullsh’t that will keep a n’ga trapped on the Southside like a prisoner. So at some point black kids need to learn how to feel comfortable and communicate in environments in which they’re a minority. Because no matter how black you are, or how much your blood is screaming ‘Southside4life fool!’, at some point you’re going to be around folks that don’t look like you, who are going to judge you by how well you can communicate your thoughts.

I don’t see this happenstance as cruel, or racists, I just see it as a reality. When you look at the landscape of American business & politics, you’re going to see boardrooms and societies dominated by white men. Those who are intimidated in environments such as these are going to have a lot lower ceiling of earning potential, compared to those who aren’t afraid and ready to get in the mix with them white boys. So my suggestion to all those students at Worthing, Sterling, Yates, Jones, Madison and all those predominately black schools on the Southside as well as across the country, is to make sure you learn as many languages as possible. Read some Shakespeare and see how that Olde Englishe flows, it’s not just a malt liquor ya know?!! Take Spanish classes, learn sign language, learn a computer language, whatever it is you have the opportunity to LEARN?? Do that sh’t n’ga!! If they don’t have what you want to learn at your school, then you need to get on your hustle and find out where you need to go to get it. School isn’t about playing and looking fly, school is about learning. A lot of high school students who are ‘jus chillin’ now, will learn soon enough when it comes time for them to find a way to put food on the table and keep the lights on. All that playing when you should have been learning will come back to kick you right in the az, just like the rapper Lil Flip (Worthing alum pictured at the top of the page) says, ‘Game over!’

Monday, May 17, 2004

Swangin and Bangin

My daughter and I were on our way to the drugstore one evening and we found ourselves waiting for a red light to change at the corner of Reed Rd. and Scott here on the Southside. Immediately when the light turned green, a car that was on the opposite side of the 4-lane wide Reed Rd, darted from the parking lot of TP Seafood and cut in front of all the traffic that had started once the light turned green. This particular candy painted Cadillac proceeded to veer from one side of Reed Rd, to the other. Swerving like a drunk driver from curb to curb, taking up both lanes. Once he got in front of the Just Oxtails Restaurant, he popped open the trunk, slammed his car in reverse and backed into the lane of opposing traffic. Headed down a crowded street driving backwards with the trunk open with loud music blaring. The top of the trunk had the words 'Run Tell Dat!' in red neon letters and the rims and 5th wheel were glistening chrome. My daughter observed all of this and as we passed by and kept on to the drugstore, she asked me a simple question,

Daddy, why did that man drive like that?

I pondered this question for a moment, because this wasn't the first time I had seen a hustler doing what we call, 'swangin and bangin' here on the Southside, but it was the first time I had to attempt to explain this phenomena to an 8 year old.

Well Monster, a lot of that has to do with the fact that there's a lot of young black folks together drinking and tripping. Someone is bound to want to 'show out'.

But why did he open his trunk and drive backwards like that?

He just wants to make sure everybody sees him.

Whenever you see guys swerving from side to side down the street, boguarding the lanes and acting like they own the streets, don't be too quick to anger. As obnoxious and ignorant as it may seem, this 'swangin and bangin' is often a very effective marketing ploy for those with a product or service to sell. When you consider the underworld of pimps, players, thugs and hustlers that are out grinding to get money that the government knows nothing about, they can't always follow the conventional means of business. Pimps can't put out a sign that says, 'Hoz here!' Drug dealers can't put up billboards that says, 'Our crack is the freshest!' So instead these underworld hustlers have to do all their marketing on the street. No matter what it is you do or sell, the simple fact is that if you want to be successful? You've gotta be known baby.

By no means am I endorsing any form of illegal activity. Where some frown in disgust and derision at drug dealers, I instead see them for their enormous distribution potential. Crack is a virus that is crippling the black family, but if I can convince all the block bleeders to put down the crack and sell a book?? Wow, the possibilities are endless. They already have the superior advertising and presentation and when you throw in their lingo, it won't be long stretch for them to go from hittin licks with birds to books….

Say mane, check it out, I got that HOT sh't in my hand!!

Hot huh? How much is it hittin fo?

That's up to you. I got these nice 'bumps' of short stories that hit for a dime , a full fledged novel for twanky.

Is it any good?

Mane look here, have you ever read any D.E. Washington?

Naww, I don't think I have.

Aww n'ga, then you don't know what's UP! That n'ga been putting it down for a minute now. You can check him out on his website, servinemup.com, D. be putting it down.

Is it some drug glorification?

Naww podna, Jesus is King in all of these books, that's all he be talking about. He's coming at them from all kinda angles though, street hustlers, hoopers, college boys, church folk like Rev. Janky, players, pimps, he's got some hoz in there..it's a full meal mane.

Sounds interesting.

I'm TELLLIN YA mane! This is what you need right here! Watch, just gone and buy the short stories and I bet you'll be back for a nuddin! Shii, come Christmas time or graduation you're going to be wanting to buy a whole PACK for all the folks you know that NEED to be reading what D. is pushing.

How much is a pack?

C'mon dog, 50 packs sell all day long on the Southside. 6 books for $50?? You can't beat that dog. Holla at me mane!!! Spread the Word mane! Especially if you one of them n'gaz that don't never go to church or give time to the Lord, this could be your purpose right here..buy 2 packs and pass them out to all the heathens you know! Nah, run and tell THAT!!

As you can see, I've already applied the Southside street distribution paradigm to my writing function. I try to roll out material that will swang and bang and make readers turn their heads and pay attention. Southside keeps their mouth wide mane. As long as I stay true to my Lord and acknowledge Him in all my ways, I know that He will direct my path, so I'm not tripping.

Each time I roll out a new post, I'm addressing the largest audience that I've ever faced in my life and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. Web logs, or 'blogs' for short, are a common publication vehicle for writers. Statistics show that the average 'blogger' writes for about 3 months and then just stops writing due to lack of interest or support. I have been fortunate to be blogging at servinemup.com at a 3+ post a week clip since July, and I'm eagerly looking forward to my printed media debut. Until the time comes for Real Game to hit the streets, I've still got to increase my reader base. So when you see me knocking on your email inbox, 'Git Yo Serve On Fool!' you'll know that I'm not disrespecting, that's just D. swangin and bangin and doing his thang. Because no matter what it is you do in this world, whether it's a product you're selling or a service you're pushing, if you want to be successful, you gotta be known baby.

Friday, May 14, 2004


I was at home on the computer the other day when my wife and son came into the room. She was marching him in like a prisoner being prepared for the firing squad. I could tell he had done SOMEthing that had displeased her greatly and she was sending him my way to reinforce her point.

Go on and tell your daddy what you did!

When she said this, I looked at how her lips curled up in disapproval, whatever our 11 year old son had done, it had gotten her pretty riled up. I looked over at my son to see an array of emotions. He was covering his slightly swollen top lip with one hand, but the muscles on his face were making those small twitches of uncontrollable anger. He actually looked like somebody had pissed him off, but he couldn’t vent his anger because mom had put him in check..hard. I looked at him with a curious yet slightly amused glance,

What’s going on G??


His response angered my wife even more,

No, it’s not NOTHING! Tell your daddy what happened!!

Marcellus was pushing me and Iwaspushing him and then he pushed me in the face and hit me in the lip so I tried to hit him back and I told him I wanted to hurt him.

No! That is NOT what you said, because I was sitting there looking at ya’ll out the window and I heard every word. Tell him what you said.

I said I wanted to kill him.

Since I had spent many hours horsing around with my playmates that ended up turning in to fights, I fully understood his emotion, so I guess I wasn’t really tripping.

Kill him?? Didja kill him??

No, he ran away and I couldn’t catch him.

Well, that’s good you didn’t kill him, you shouldn’t do that to anyone, that’s a bad thing to do. They’ll put you in jail for killing somebody, unless they’re trying to kill you.

My wife was ready to jump in and get some more..

And not only is it a bad thing to DO, it’s a bad thing to SAY to someone!!!

Yeah, your mother’s right. Your cousin Jessica ended up in jail for threatening to kill someone. Just by SAYING it you can go to jail. It’s what they call a ‘terroristic threat’. So don’t say that to anyone son because they can put you in jail for that.

I could tell that his feelings were in disarray. Here it is HE was the one that got hit in the mouth and the culprit not only got away scot free, but he had to deal with this verbal chastisement just for saying the word kill. After we had gotten through discussing with him how to handle himself in similar situations, I gave him a pat on the back as he was leaving the room. My wife is not much of the vigilante, she was even reluctant for him to have toy guns. I’m on the other side of the coin. I grew up playing on the same Southside streets that he plays on and I know the necessity of ‘letting them fools know’ that you weren’t an easy win. Street fame starts at childhood. Everybody in the hood knows who’s down to defend themselves and who’s scared to fight.

My family has always been big on self defense. Even though I was raised under Christian rules, ‘Turn the other cheek’ did NOT mean you’re supposed to LET somebody beat you up! When it came to fighting my dad had some key pointers:

If you know you’re going to have to fight, don’t talk about it, just fire off on em. All that stupid walking around touching shoulders in a circle? Don’t do no stupid sh’t like that..if you’re go fight a n’ga..FIGHT HIM, don’t dance. Don’t wait for him to hit you first either, make sure you get the first punch in, the 2nd, the 3rd and the last. If a n’ga is too big or too strong for you, find a stick or rock or something to pick up and lay his az out. That first lick, aim for his nose or eye, that way when you hit him, the first thing he’s go do is grab it with both hands, that’s when you start going to work on that body. Hitting him in the body will take his breath and his legs and it’s a lot safer than punching them in the face, cuz if you don’t know what you’re doing, you’ll break your hand. Stand up here and let me show ya something boy…okay..yeah, cover up with your right and lead with that left jab..there ya go..jab hard, but don’t lose your balance..always keep your balance..you keep leading with that jab..see you go have big broad shoulders like mine, you’ll be able to put one of them Larry Holmes jabs on them n’gas..and then follow it up with combination..never throw just one, always throw at least 2 to make sure they FEEL ya and if you miss make sure you catch him across the jaw with your elbow. If its too many n’gas for you to handle, run home.

I have seen Southside fights get vicious before. Dudes getting hit with poles, bricks, 2x4’s, bottles, whatever weapon available. There’s been many days where we had to leave the park running because some thug n’ga got mad over a basketball game and went to get his gun out of his trunk, intent on shooting whoever looked at him cross-eyed.

Now that I have kids that I know will be out amongst the predators of the world, I find myself teaching my kids the same things my parents taught us. Most importantly, I tell them to do whatever it is they need to do to make it home safely. Revenge is definitely a deep craving that everyone has on some level. When there’s a wrong done, the natural order calls for justice to be done. If they hit you, hit them back! An eye for an eye!! I always liked that Bible verse!

One of the most controversial verses among Christians is a verse that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 5:38,39

38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. 39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

The eye for an eye part, Jesus was quoting from Old Testament Scriptures (Ex 21:24; Lev.24:20, Duet 19:21). There’s different Christians who interpret these scriptures in different ways. Some are extreme pacifists who don’t believe in guns or defending themselves, they go all the way out on faith. They don’t own firearms and they do all they can to abolish guns. They take this literally to mean you’re never supposed to hit anyone with intent to harm. There’s a lot more Christians (especially in Texas) who take this scripture on a whole different level of meaning. I’ve been around many heated arguments (usually when bourbon and beer were involved) that centered around this topic…

How the hell you go tell ME that God wants me to just ‘turn my other cheek’ when a n’ga hits me in the jaw!!?? That ain’t nothing but some ol bullsh’t ‘calm the slaves’ mind trick the white man made up and put in the Bible to keep the slaves from whupping their az!!!

I’m just telling you what the BIBLE says mane!

That’s my problem with the BIBLE right there! It’s all well and good for people who already got money and power, but it doesn’t do anything but keep po’ folks down! All that ‘turn the other cheek’, ‘obey your master’ type bullsh’t! Ain’t nobody trying to hear that sh’t mane!

Turn the other cheek doesn’t mean that you’re supposed to ‘let’ somebody just whup your az.

It doesn’t?? Well what do you call it then??

I dunno what you call it, but I do know that one of Jesus’ closest disciples Peter had a sword on him when the authorities came to arrest Jesus. The sword was the prime weapon of defense then..that was the modern day equivalent of having a 9mm.

Peter had a heater huh??? (smiling) I like that n’ga already!

Jesus scolded Peter about cutting off one of those soldiers ears, but the key point is that Jesus’ close circle WAS armed. And when you go back and look at how Jesus got down for His, you’ll see how He went into the temple and started acting BAD on them fools who were trying to turn the church into a dope house.

Dope house?? They had dope houses in the Bible??!!

Well not exactly DOPE..but they had dudes flipping oxen, sheep and birds for money in the church.


Not THAT kinda bird, doves. They were using the church as a place to conduct all of their hustling and when Jesus came and saw how they were doing the Father’s house, He got a whip and put something on that az! Knocking over tables, throwing n’gas out the church…He went agg on them fools.

(smiling) Ol Jesus had some thug in Him huh? See, THAT’S the kinda sh’t I be ready to hear, not all that ‘be scaid, be timid, don’t fight back’ nonsense! I be ready to RIDE on them fools!

Holeup now cuz..before you get TOO hyped, when it comes to plotting a way to retaliate or give retribution, God’s word is very clear.

What does it say??

“Vengeance is mine”, saith the Lord, “I will repay.” (Rom. 12:19)
That Romans 12:19 verse is too hard to swallow for a lot of people, especially those seeking to avenge a violent act perpetrated on them or their close family. The old adage is that revenge is a dish best served cold. Uma Thurman was driven by it throughout Tarantino’s latest Kill Bill movies. Anyone who let’s their emotions run rampant will easily be sucked into this swirling vortex of anger and hate. It’s a very hard aspect of Christianity to deal with. God made us in His own image, so it stands to reason that there’s a natural part of us that want’s to repay past transgressions. But the most binding attribute of Christianity is faith. We walk by faith, not by sight. There are battles being raged across the world that we know nothing about. Those that are walking in the Spirit have to know that God IS in control and when He says He’s going to get them back for us, it will be done. God’s Word is bond. Habakkuk, one of those ‘old school’ prophets had many questions about why the wicked were allowed to plunder and violate the just. God’s answer to Habakkuk applies today just as it did thousands of years ago when He first inspired the scripture: Hab 2: 4 Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him; but the just shall live by his faith.

This is a very hard concept to grasp as a rational adult, let alone trying to teach this principle to a child. The main thing I teach my son, is that he has to be able to control his emotions and properly channel his energy toward progressive means. When at all possible, I want him to walk away from a fight and come home. But if he feels he’s cornered and his health and well-being are in jeopardy, I teach him to defend himself with every ounce of strength in his body. Some may see this as wrong, or contradictory to Christian teaching, I just see this as a required defense mechanism. Our kids are growing up in a savage world with vicious and heartless predators constantly on the prowl. I don’t believe God will hold it against any honest and just soul, for doing whatever they needed to do to protect their family and stay alive.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004


What’s been up D?? I’ve been checking in looking for new articles!

I’ve been real busy lately, but I’m still putting in at least 3 a week.

3?? Today’s Tuesday and you haven’t posted since this past Friday.

That’s not true.

It’s not?? I haven’t seen anything since Thug Life!??

What do you think about the Isle of Patmos?

The Isle of what??

Patmos..the island that the Apostle John was banished on when God revealed the book of Revelations to him.

I don’t know anything about that.

It’s in the Sunday School Lesson that was posted Monday morning.

Oh..I don’t really look through the Sunday School Lessons.

You don’t?? Why not?

I dunno..I mean, I like your writing and stuff, but I don’t have time to get all into the Bible like that.

But you just told me you‘ve been looking for a servin’ to read since Friday??

Yeah..but I mean funny stuff, or that thug stuff you wrote. I like that. I don’t need all that ‘Holy-Holy’ God-Jesus stuff.

Oh..well,you’re really missing out on the BEST part of the website.

I’m sure it’s good though, I’m just not into learning about the Bible right now, I’ve got too many other serious things on my plate I’m dealing with already.

Salvation and where you spend eternity is the most serious thing there is if you ask me. Eschatology is what it’s all about.

Eschatology?? What is that?

It means ‘Last Things’, it’s basically whatever theory or faith you believe in concerning death and life thereafter.

What do you believe?

I believe what the Bible says. Daniel, Isaiah and all throughout the Old and New Testament God's prophets describe the end times. It’s really all broken down by the Apostle John’s writings in Revelations.

What did he write??

It’s in the Sunday School Lessons mane, I can serve it up to you, but I can’t make you read it.


I’ve already detailed how much books and reading have played a vital part in my upbringing and level of awareness. I can remember flipping through Judy Blume’s adult novel Wifey and reading all the passages that had highlighted curse words. Since I was only in elementary school, I had no idea what she meant by ‘persistent vaginal itching’ and having to go to the gynecologist, I just knew I had never seen the word vagina in a book before and I was mesmerized. Of course this thirst for adult material didn’t get any better as I grew older. I read V.C. Andrews Flowers In the Attic trilogy and I knew that there were a lot of things going on in the world that I knew NOTHING about. The capper was when I happened across a rated X-adult short story book that one of my classmates had brought to school. It didn’t have any pictures, but it had the raunchiest, most sexually graphic words I had ever read, stuff like..

When Tasha came back from lunch with Ret, she didn’t have any panties on under her miniskirt and she had a glow. Each time she recalled Ret’s hard throbbing shaft, her crotch tingled.

Of course this isn’t the type of material that elementary school kids should be reading, but we all have our own first dip into the world of carnal pleasures. As mature as the material was, I always knew that I wasn’t SUPPOSED to be reading it. Now that the time has come for me to be a parent, I often contemplate how much guidance and censorship my wife and I should impose on the material our children read.

Our son is a big Harry Potter fan. A lot of ‘church’ folks don’t allow their children to read such works of ‘sorcery’ and ‘witchcraft’ since it’s practice is specifically condemned and forbidden in the Bible. I was just happy to have a book that got my son interested in reading. Although we allow him to read Harry Potter, we make sure he understands that witchcraft is not to be practiced or worshipped in the Christian belief. We’re living in a world now where it’s easier to spread stories of carnage or sorcery or sex, and it’s a lot harder to distribute material which exalts the name of Jesus. Mel Gibson pitched the script for The Passion throughout Hollywood and not one major studio would pick it up, ‘too graphic‘. But movies that detail bloody battles and graphic sex are being pushed down our throats non stop.

I never dreamed I would be in favor of book censorship until after I became a parent. One particular story that caught my eye was the story that came out of North Carolina almost 2 months ago. There was a 1st grade girl who brought a book home called King and King She had gotten the book from her school’s library and in the book, two male princes end up getting married, sharing a kiss and living happily ever after. Two guys falling in love, kissing and living happily ever after in a CHILDREN'S book??! Uhhh…Houston, we have a problem. When I read through the story I couldn’t believe that some people would actually believe that having children embrace the homosexual lifestyle was a good thing. I understand that there are thousands of same sex couples out there raising children, but that doesn’t mean I want my kids exposed to it. My hypocrite alarm started ringing when I realized that everybody doesn’t want their children reading Christian based material either..so what do we do?

When I first read Bradbury’s classic, Fahrenheit 451 novel, I instantly became a big Guy Montag fan. If there was a governing body that restrained free thought, and made everyone think and believe as one, we’d quickly become a ‘Big Brother is watching YOU‘ society. Everyone should be allowed to believe what they want to believe, write what they want to write, read what they want to read. Once we start suppressing individual thought, it would only be a matter of time before something WE believe in was burned. Of that I was sure. But once I started reading the Bible, and I got stronger in the Word and understanding eschatology (last things) and God’s plan for man, I started to gravitate from my more liberal, ‘Everybody should be allowed to do what they want to do’ mentality. Because as I grew older, I realized that rules are only made for people who want to abide by them. There’s a large band of society that is completely lawless and immoral. From murders, to embezzlers, whoremongers, child abusers, there’s a lot more thugs who NEED to be in jail, than there are actual thugs IN jail.

So now that we’re here, in 2004, training our kids, it’s very important for God fearing parents to equip our children with this same reverence for the Almighty Lord. Because if we don’t train our children with what’s right in the eyes of God, they will be a lot more susceptible to fall prey to the multitude of traps that Satan and his legion of angels have laid out to devour as many souls as possible. I recognize that there are thousands of same-sex parents across the country that are anxious for more media that is more accepting of the gay lifestyle. My wife chides me for being homophobic, but we all have our things that bother us. I think we all have the freedom to make our own choices in lifestyle and I’m understanding of that. But once this ‘alternative lifestyle’ is being affronted to our children as a natural and blessed union, then I have a big problem with that. Obviously there’s a large faction of readers who want to read this material, because once that story broke into the media, the sales of the book skyrocketed. A later book was released entitled King and King and Family. Now do you see what I’m getting at??

Call it homophobia, call it heterosexual double standard, I don’t care what you call it, but I just can’t sit back and be quiet and not speak out against it. I’m not endorsing burning books, I’m not trying to deny all writers their right to express themselves, I just don’t want my kids reading homosexual material. Period. In the end the burden of guidance and censorship falls on the parents. We all have to make the effort to get into our children’s worlds and see what they’re reading, what they’re watching on TV, what they’re listening to on the radio and offer as much guidance as we can. But between all the bloodthirsty warmongers running the world and all the alternative lifestyle activist that are pushing their agendas through the media to our kids, it’s only a matter of time before God is going to see all the immoral behaviour that He can stand. The King of Babylon has fallen and Israel is surrounded by her enemies, the Revelations of John are all starting to come true. Are you ready for that trumpet blow? Or are you ‘jus chillin’ with your salvation, waiting on a sign from God for you to believe? Whatever it is you’re doing, if you’re not striving to grow closer to the Lord, you’re doing the wrong thing, and that’s uncensored.


Friday, May 07, 2004

Thug Life

Alright! Alright! Let's get this show on the road! It's Friday and I've got to serve up the end of the week mood setter. I haven't posted since Monday (which is a rarity), but you can best believe I've been steady hustling at my work. First off, I'd like to welcome all of the new readers to servinemup.com. My name is D.E. Washington..you can call me D. By now I'm sure you've checked out a couple of the Recent Articles to have a good idea of how I flow. Everytime I post, there's always friends, family and readers I have never met before that post comments in the form all the way at the bottom of the home page. I encourage all of you to submit feedback, that's one of the advantages of writing on the Internet. You'll notice that the only publicly displayed comments are those in the guest book. There are a lot of hackers with programs out there that sweep through guest books and comment forms of websites and jack their email addresses. I'm guilty of this same 'jack' move myself, I've gone through websites such as urbanministries.com and copied their email addresses to my mail out list. Since this can go both ways, and someone might do the same to servinemup's guest book, I just want all of ya'll to know that you will NEVER receive an unsolicited email with an attachment from a servinemup.com email address. Feel that, NO ATTACHMENTS, but that doesn't mean you won't happen to see this email in your inbox one day…

From: dwashington@servinemup.com
Subject: Git Yo Serve On!!

BREAK YO SELF FOOL!!! I just jacked your email address from one of those God emails that circulate around and requires everyone to forward the email to 10 people they love within the next 10 minutes if they want to receive a miracle in their life. Yep! I just went all the way down through all the distribution list and copied all of the addresses, because I know that if you're the kind of person in those kinda loops, you're gonna LOVE what I'm servin up here!

Sit back, relax yourself, get your reading glasses out and read through some of this contemporary Christian urban prose. At least 3 new posts every week! Holla at me mane and support a brother getting down for his purpose.


If you love God? Sign the guest book! If you love JESUS? Forward this email to at least 10 people you know! Right NOW!!…J


D.E. Washington - Chief Executive Writer
Servinemup Ink

Mmmhmm…I'm from the Southside of Houston mane, I know how to distribute these goods! I've got to say what's up to Doc Chik'N'head, one of my lifelong homies from Sugarvalley, she's not only a spiritual friend, but also one of my leading supporters and distribution hubs for servinemup.com. Twin, they don't even know how hard I'm coming at them yet, but I know that you and all the Southside can feel me and it will be a big party on the Southside when we can stand up and say, "I TOLD ya'll fools! Jesus is REAL mane!" and everybody who doesn't believe is going to sit back and say, 'D'mn! We shoulda been listening to that n'ga D. when he was telling us that!'

Thanks to all of Sugarvalley, Reedwood, Blueridge, Cloverland (What's up Robbin!), Hillwood, Paradise Valley, South Acres, Crestmont Park, Wesley Square, my boy Joe T. in that Trey Ward (The Fellas will have their day mane!), Mo.City, Hiram Clarke, Almeda Plaza and all of the Southside for standing up and supporting one of your native sons. I know I sound like I'm writing the credits on the back of an album cover, but there's a lot of people that have had my back and are helping me push my weight and I want to say I appreciate all ya'll help kinfolk.

Although I grew up in the hood, by no means do I consider myself a thug. I've never been in jail for more than 72 hours, I've never been shot, stabbed or kidnapped. I've never had to 'pop a cap on a fool' for coming at me wrong. I've never had to wear a bulletproof vest for added security, I've never had to peep out of my windows worrying about suspicious cars cruising by looking to avenge a prior shooting. I've never had to sell rocks on the corner, I've never had to hustle hoz on the block. I don't even have a tattoo. But the deal with me is that I grew up with a lot of dudes that the general public would be afraid to sit next to on the bus. N'gaz with gold grills, tattoos covering their arms, n'gaz that have been to prison before, n'gaz who walk the earth refusing to bow down to authority. The only authority they recognize is power. If you can't beat them up, or if you can't overwhelm them with gun power? They ain't trying to hear sh't you've got to say. Thug niggaz.

I have friends that I used to sit next to in Sunday School every Sunday that have been subjected to the violence and pain that the thug lifestyle breeds. My podna Byron Lewis was murdered while sleeping in his bed, along with both his parents and one of his brothers. Byron wasn't a thug, he was only an early teenager when this happened, but you can best believe it was some thugs who carried out this home invasion and execution. I have since had several friends, church buddies and family members fall prey to the thug life. Some of them fall in with the wrong crowd and get caught up with whatever their podnas are doing. When you hang out with a thug crowd, you become a part of it, like it or not. When riders come to pay retribution on a thug that shot up their car, those bullets spraying are for the thug who did it and any fool stupid enough to be hanging around him. There is no compassion in the thug life, it's all about power and control. Strictly bizness mane, never personal.

The thug mentality is a 'me against the world' mindset. Your boys, your crew, your click may be strong, but in the end you have to go in front of that judge alone. There is no one else's name called on the docket, just The State of Texas or The United States of America vs. [insert your favorite thug name here]. Because the thug life has an inevitable path that leads to pain, prison or death.

Of all my homeboys that are thugs, they've all spent time either in jail or maybe laid up in the hospital having to sh't into a bag for months until the bullet wound in their stomach heals. That sh't ain't pretty..fo real. A lot of guys get caught up in rap music and rap lyrics and rap videos and all of a sudden, they're 'hard'. They might even start carrying a gun on them, just to keep them 'haters' off of em. But these same wanna be thugs are the main ones crying the loudest in court when that judge hits that gavel and says, '20 years!'.

I understand the premise of the thug life, thugs want to do WHATEVA the f'k they want to do, cuz they CAN! Hell, I wish I could do THAT! But in the end, we all must realize that it's not all about US. Submitting to a higher authority is not a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of wisdom and maturity. Even those who never had any parents or guardians they felt were WORTHY to listen to, eventually will run upon a governing body that will lay hands on them and show them who REALLY has the power. Some thugs don't submit to this authority until they face a near death experience that causes them to change their way of living or die. Some never submit, and go out with a sneer and both guns blazing screaming 'Fk the world!' because they just don't care if they live or die. Life has brought them so much pain and suffering that they figure that death has to be a better place.

Tupac penned some very thought provoking and soul searching lines that screamed all of the frustrations of the thug world.

Thug life, ya'll know the rules gotta do Whatcha gotta do,

I won't deny it, I'm a straight rider you don't want to f'k with me..

And one of the most important questions Pac asked, was

"I wonder if Heaven's got a ghetto for thug n'gas? A stress free life and a place for drug dealers.."

There are a lot of thugs out there swanging and banging and doing their thing, all the while they have diamond studded crosses draped across their chests. It's one thing to WEAR the cross, but the real work comes in when you BEAR your cross. It doesn't matter how early you're up on the block with your pocket full of rocks, God didn't put nane thug down here just to be selling dope to fiends. If you want to thug, pick up that REAL gat and read the 6th Chapter of Ephesians. It's where Paul is talking about soldiers putting on the full armour of God. There is no need to be a weak or afraid, stay strong and put on your armour and thug for the Lord. There IS a place in Heaven for thugs that submit to the will of God. Fo-real!

Sunday, May 02, 2004

The Purpose Driven Life

The beautiful black woman that you see pictured is my older sister, or should I say, my ‘suddah’. She encouraged me to just ‘Do the damn thang!’ when I first presented her with my idea of being a writer. All the worries I’ve had of writing being a novelty or just a ‘fad’ for me have long sinced passed away. I’m in it to win it, it doesn’t matter if I only sell 3 books and have only 2 visitors to my website, I’m committed to roll with the punches that fall. I used to worry about public opinion and how I would be accepted by the general audience reader. Would I be too ‘black’? Too Christian? Too freaky? Too crazy? Whatever doubts I had were completely erased after I read Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life.

My sister gave me this book for my birthday this past year and it has really helped me focus
on the goals that I have before me. Just like she always has done, she is constantly looking out for my well being. Much like everyone else, I have had my times of self-doubt and confusion, ‘Why the hell am I here on this earth??’ The question that we ALL ask ourselves at some point in our life. When my time came to take this soul searching journey, it all started with a reflection of my life.

This wasn’t one moment or one night of introspection, this was a voyage that took several weeks of mulling over in my mind, praying to God fervently and just trying to figure out where I fit in in life. I was still going over all the possibilities of God’s purpose for me one day when I was driving home from work. I happened to take a route that I don’t normally take, just on a whim. Instead of taking the quicker 288 Highway route, I decided to turn off 610 on Scott and roll through the hood. As I was crossing the railroad tracks on Holmes Road, I noticed a man walking along the road with a full plastic garbage bag slung over his shoulder. This particular figure stood out to me, because even at a distance, I recognized who this person was just by his gait. There are some people that you are so close too, that you can recognize them from the sound of their voice amongst a crowd, you can distinguish their laughter, the way they run and in this case, the way he walked.

I recognized this figure to be a close childhood friend of mine. A man who was 5 days younger than I was, a person who’s grandmother used to keep me and him everyday while our parents were at work. When all those other kids were eating Gerber baby food, my podna and I were being fed hot water cornbread with pot liquor poured on top. This same podna used to be one of my daily playmates in the hood that I grew up in on the Southside of Houston, Texas. When I walked out of my front door, all I had to do was look a few houses down the street and I could see the front of his house. We wrestled together, we boxed together, we played football, baseball, hotball, curb ball, strikeout, basketball, and a slew of other games, mischief and adventures that hard headed boys seem to get into. He was one of the defenders who gang tackled me the time I ended up on crutches with ligament damage. I was one of the first people to visit him after he got shot in the leg in high school. We go waaay back, farther than Similac.

When I stopped to pick him up, I had a smile on my face as I pulled up next to him. We hadn’t seen each other in several years, but ours is the kind of friendship that it wouldn’t matter if we hadn’t seen each other in 50 years, we’d still be glad to see each other. I was dismayed to hear that he had recently been released from prison.

“I got caught with some work D.”

I gave him a ride to where he needed to go and I slipped him a few dollars to help him along his way when I dropped him off. Prison is not a new thing to my reality. I have relatives that we used to visit in prison, I have a lot of homies that have been in there, are in there now or they’re soon to be headed back. Some are in for doing something stupid and getting caught, some are in because they’re committed life time criminals and they refuse to break out of their jailhouse mentality. The thing that bothered me the most about my podna going that direction, was because I realized how easily it could have been ME just released from Harris county , toting a plastic bag down Holmes Rd. There go I, but for the grace of God.

I wanted to save him, I wanted to grab him and help him climb out of the bucket of oppression that so many have fallen into. Low paying jobs are a consistent catalyst for all them soldiers out there trying to get into the game. Everybody wants to ball right now, but nobody wants to save and sacrifice to pay that price for freedom. And once you find yourself in that bucket of oppression, the first instinct is to do whateva it is you gotta do to get paid. Getting caught with ‘work’ on the Southside means that you were caught with felony possession of a controlled substance. The way the laws are written, you’re better off being caught with a full bird (kilo) of powder cocaine, rather than a couple of grams of crack rock. I didn’t even bother to ask about the specifics of his case, I was just glad to see him alive and healthy.

After I dropped him off and I was headed back home, I had a moment of clarity. I had the vivid image of Donald Goines hero in Black Gangsta being released from jail. I really admire the way brother Goines gets down for his on paper. For those that have never read any of Donald Goines works, you should check him out, the popular rapper Ludacris even makes mention of Goines work on his latest CD..

“So I picked up a book, by Donald Goines, on how to make it in this business, how to flip a few coins..’

I don’t think a writer can have a greater compliment, than having their words being the impetus of success for others. The key is being able to offer a voice that is informative, interesting and above all else, real.

I knew my experience in life had given me a diversity and richness of colorful people that I could speak the language of a lot of different folks. From those like my grandparents who still have a direct connection to those days of share cropping and working out in the fields from sunup to sundown, to those educated at the most prestigious universities in the world, I can communicate with just about anybody. There’s a lot of my family that were not able to finish grade school, because they had to work to help their family survive. It is this large family of uneducated folk that I use as a frequent voice, because in the end I know it has nothing to do with how flowery and elegant my words flow, it all comes down to making sure people can feel me.

Professional writers advised me to keep my day job, first time authors are up against extreme odds against success. The best route is to keep writing no matter what, keep loading ‘clips’ into my gat and be ready to release them when the opportunity arose. I knew God had blessed me to see a world that most of my homies from the hood know nothing about. All those hours I spent in my room unable to watch TV or go outside because I was on punishment, I usually spent reading. From Superfudge, Henry Huggins and Beezus and Ramona, to Then Again, Maybe I Won’t and Are you there God? It’s me Margaret, I was always enthralled to visit new and different worlds that reading afforded. I was more than ready to go through the back of that closet in The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe that C.S. Lewis laid out in his Chronicles of Narnia. S.E. Hinton showed me that we all have to deal with being Outsiders of some sort. Twain left me rolling on the floor laughing with the Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. I was introduced to mysteries via Encyclopedia Brown and his short story mysteries with the answers in the back. Next came Fitzgerald and his entire Great Brain series. And just when I thought I had the skills to figure it all out, I was completely blown away by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. From his treatise on Deductive Reasoning, to all of the short story adventures and even the full length Hound of the Baskervilles, I was addicted to this drug of reading. It enriched me, it enlightened me, it allowed a hard headed boy from Sugarvalley to visit places around the world, throughout history past and future that released my mind and made me lower the blinders of personal experience that are so easy to shroud our thinking.

So great..I have a purpose in life, I’m going to write! But wait..uhh, Imean..what am I gonna write about? The biggest void I see in our society is the lost art of good parenting. Of all the things that are going wrong today, teenage pregnancies, drug abuse, domestic violence all of these things can be traced back to how children are raised. Those kids who were never held accountable for their actions are the ones the most likely to be snatched up by the system. From personal hygiene, to well balanced diets, to solid work ethics, to value systems, so many of the kids today are completely lost. They focus on nice clothes, shoes, looking cool, being fly and they pay no heed to those REAL things that life requires for those who aspire to live a purpose driven life. There are some who DO have a purpose, but it so superficially laced by selfishness and greed that this drive and energy is not doing anything to help the community, only taking away.

When I first started posting, I had no idea if people would keep coming back to check me out, or if they would just think I was just some rambling lunatic. I set out to put out a product that was solid, yet light enough to keep the mood encouraging. The Recent Articles portion of this site has posts since December, but there are a lot more clips in the servinemup vault:

Happy Plates 7/7

The Game for a Lifetime 7/9

Closeness to Death 7/13

Save the Children 7/15

Moving Weight 7/17

Kobe 7/20

Liberation? 7/22

Fingerwaves 7/24

Dear Reader 7/26

Driving Ignant 7/29

Hard Heads 7/31

In God We Trust 8/2

Hittin Licks 8/5

Oiler Texan Connection 8/7

Adam&Eve Were Iraqis 8/9

Day to Day Grinding 8/12

The Last Major 8/14

Power 8/16

Candy Red Turns Heads 8/19

Deadbeats 8/21

Free Will 8/23

Prices @ the Pump 8/26

Please Leave a Message 8/28

Skillz 8/31

Dirty Pretty Things 9/2

Them Laws 9/4

Problems 9/6

Undercover Brothers 9/9

Fantasy Football Freaks 9/11

Soldiers In the Hood 9/14

Emergency Procedures 9/16

The Rules of Flirting 9/18

Vision 9/21

Screamers 9/23

TMI 9/25

Spicy 9/28

Keep Your Head Up 9/30

Looking Back on Doritos 10/2

Woo! Woo! 10/5

Yom Kippur 10/7

The Servinemup Family 10/9

The Good Fight 10/12

Superstars 10/14

Talents 10/16

Southside Math 10/19

Black Entertainers 10/21

Like Asa 10/23

Live Music 10/26

Good Citizens 10/28

Crazy is Relative 10/30

What it Do 11/2

Born With A Grip 11/4

Superfreaks 11/6

What do you want to Be 11/9

The Klumps 11/11

Janky 11/14

Real 11/17

Off the Wall 11/20

Baggage Check 11/23

Publicly Speaking 11/25

Thanksliving 11/29

Ramadan 11/30

From religion, to parenting, to diabetes, relationships, I’ve tried to keep offering an array of material in hopes of casting a larger net every time I dropped. If you don’t like what you see, just hold tight, it won’t be long until you see something you like! Servinemup only compromises a small portion of my weekly writing regimen. I’m still pushing clips to magazines, I’m still grinding daily on my novel, I’m still getting my marketing plan together, there’s always work to do. Whenever I get emails from new readers, or old friends who visit the site for the first time, I get that special feeling of connecting. Knowing that someone took the time out of their schedule to peep out my ‘work’ makes me feel very proud and appreciative.

I never intend to antagonize or alienate anyone, I welcome everybody to servinemup. If you see an error in my words or facts? Feel free to let me know, I’m not tripping. I’d rather be corrected than to spread false information. I’m a writer now and I live by my word, it’s all I have. So now you see my purpose and you can read how I get down for mine. Sign the guest book, send a topic request, pass the website along to someone you know who needs to read what I’m pushing. The one thing that other writers who have been in this game have taught me, is that it’s one thing to WRITE, but to be successful, you have to write and then push your product like a drug lord. I guess it’s a good thing I’m from the Southside of Houston, we know how to push work down here. Watch out for them pushers that’s pimpin pens with a purpose ya’ll…we’re dangerous.