Thursday, July 28, 2005

Something to Think About

When I wrote Soul Food, I knew a lot of people would be able to relate to a pot of collard greens sitting on the stove. Collard greens are a real thing. It helps a lot of people to have visual images that meander along the path of the written text. Because a lot of people get intimidated or bored when they see a lot of words on a page.

That book is too thick to read.

That article is too long, I couldn’t stay interested.

A common African-American saying, is that if you want to hide something from Black folks, then you need to put it in a book. Even though our literacy rates are substantially higher than during the slavery era, when it was illegal to teach African descendants how to read, we still have a lot of folks who know how to read, but yet they never do. They might skim through a magazine, looking at pictures and headlines, but when it comes to reading and studying the written word, their attention span wanes and they grow disinterested.

If you want to make people listen to what you have to say today, then it would help a lot if you got a platinum grill like Mike Jones (who?) and had two voluptuous women in daisy dukes shaking that thang on either side of you while you do the crip walk. That’s just where we are right now. Welcome to the headline video generation. It’s not just the young folks either, because today’s parents are spending more time watching Beyonce give lap dances on awards shows than they do reading with their children or teaching them their times tables.

In 2005, if you’re not talking about sex, violence, drugs or making money, then you might as well be talking the same language as Charlie Brown’s teacher..’Wah-wah-wah-wah’..Cuz black folks ain’t listening.

Don’t get me wrong..I enjoy watching Beyonce catering too (let's look at that picture again!), but I also know that there’s a time and a place for all those things. And if all you do is get caught up on media hype: television, movies, video games, radio and you never feed your spirit with something real? Then you’re going to go into a state of nutrition deficiency and your spiritual growth will be stunted. You have to have a well balanced diet if you are looking to mature and grow as a human being.

And as much as I enjoyed the musical performances and seeing Will and Jada entertain the crowd, the realest part of the show to me was when Gladys Knight accepted her lifetime achievement award. She made a wonderful speech which highlighted 3 names which she felt everybody had heard before.

"First thanking our Heavenly Father, who watches over us….. Secondly, thanking our brother, the Savior, Jesus Christ, for He is our brother who came down here and showed us how to walk the walk… and finally thanking the Holy Spirit, the Comforter that guides us along our daily path."

Gladys was right on point.

Now the funny thing is, was when the show first started, one of the ‘rules’ that Jada laid down for the evening was,

“Don’t come up here and thank God, if you can’t perform your work in church.”

Of course, this was in reference to all the artist who glorify sex, violence and drugs in their material, but yet have crosses around their neck as if wearing it validates their faith. Like we say on the Southside, “It ain’t what it say, it’s what it do.”

Jesus never asked anyone to wear a cross, He told us to bear our cross (Luke 14:27), there is a difference.

Senator Barrack Obama (IL) gave a graduation speech at Knox College last month. (Click this link to view the entire speech). He had one part in particular which jumped out at me, cuz you know I keep my eye and ear focused on that real..

"But I hope you don’t walk away from the challenge. Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. You need to take up the challenges that we face as a nation and make them your own. Not because you have a debt to those who helped you get here, although you do have that debt. Not because you have an obligation to those who are less fortunate than you, although I do think you do have that obligation. It’s primarily because you have an obligation to yourself. Because individual salvation has always depended on collective salvation. Because it’s only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential."

"It’s only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself, that you realize your true potential." ??? Hmmm. When’s the last time you focused on the big picture? I’m not talking about making money to take care of your family, I’m talking about that BIG picture. It’s something to think about.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

July 23, 2005

Okay..I guess I need to back up a bit, because a lot of people are new around here and they’re not quite catching on to what’s going on here at First thing I need to do, is introduce myself. My Aunt C told me that one. You may not be able to tell, but Aunt C looks like it’s underlined on your screen. When you see something underlined on this page, that usually means that it’s a hyperlink and if you click on it, it will take you to another page. you all know about my Aunt C.

Anyway..Aunt C gave me some tidbits of advice in terms of delving into the creative realm of business. Writing is an art form, like singing or playing an instrument. And when you’re going to use your creative talents in the pursuit of a profession, it’s a good thing. Because first of all, if you pursue your career in a field that nourishes your natural talents, you will always be motivated to do it, because it will be your passion. Unlike those who do things strictly for the money.

One of the best pieces of advice she gave me was ‘don’t buy the pig’. When those headlines and press clippings are showering you with praises and all your readers are telling you how wonderful you are..don’t buy the pig. Stay hungry. Not too hungry so that you starve, but hungry enough so that you don’t get complacent.

You have a strong and real voice nephew..use it. Make sure that they know who you are.

So as I sat down to write out my testimony. To write down what it really means to be David Earl Washington, II. That’s what the D and E stands’s really no secret. But as this blog has grown, it has made me to become more aware of what it really means to be in the public eye. When you bare your soul for public display through the written word via blogging, it will bring attention to you.

It was cool when everything was done via cyberspace, but once the cards started hitting the street and people that I know and see everyday started to spread the word about I had to begin to prepare myself for the public audience in the real world.

The main thing that started freaking me out a bit was seeing all of these vicious and senseless crimes that are being committed across the globe everyday. And you realize that a lot of the perpetrators of these crimes are literally predators that are on the constant prowl, like a raving wolf, seeking to devour.

One of the most misunderstood thing about the Christian faith, is that people too often mistake meekness for weakness. Turn the other cheek never meant letting somebody beat me up. There is one faith, one Baptism and one Savior, but everyone has their own different ‘twerk’ to how they observe the Word.

Some folks think Jesus meant for us to be radical pacificist..decrying the use of all weapons and violence and refusing to own any firearms.

I’m not that kinda Believer. Both my parents are from a neck of the woods known as Union County, Arkansas. And if you don’t understand anything else about being Black in Arkansas in the 40’s and 50’s, you gotta understand their need for guns and Bibles. Every house had those two things in it. Usually a lot more than 1.

From defending against bobcats trying to sneak into the chicken coop, to having something to let those drunken rednecks know that you ain’t no easy win..a black man had to keep a gun close to him in Arkansas. Especially back off in them woods.

So yeah..I fully recognize that putting myself out there, not only my image, but exposing the reason for my faith to a general public is very revealing. And you never know what evil is lurking, ready to assault and attack on any and everything that is putting out positive energy into the universe.

But what I do that this feeling that I have inside of like a steadily growing fire. It had been smoldering for years, but once I started feeding it the Word on a daily basis, it started growing. Next thing you know, I have a little light that’s shining out there into the darkness. I feel that God has annointed me to be His servant. And you know what God says about His annointed right?

Touch not my annointed and do my prophet no harm - Psalm 105:15

People who read are coming up to me and asking me questions about the Bible.

What does the Bible say about when yo wife don’t want to give you none?

The Law forbids having sexual relations during a woman’s menstrual cycle.

Naww! I’m not talking about when she has that time of the month, I’m talking about when she don’t want to give you none just cuz she don’t feel like it.

Oh..well, an obedient and submissive wife isn’t supposed to deny her husband in bed.

See! That’s what um tawkin’ bout!! Here it is, she steady going to church and telling me I’m a heathen, but here it is SHE ain’t even taking care of ME like that Bible tells her too!

C’mon tripping.

What?? What do you mean I’m tripping? She’s the one tripping!!

C’mon go out to the strip club 5 nights a week, sometimes during don’t think your wife thinks you’re fooling around?

Mane..I just be going in there for the buffet! The food be good!

Well..whateva. All I know is that if you want your woman to be down for you in the bedroom, you gotta make her feel like she can trust you. If you got her up there worried about how many other women you been sleeping around with, then you’re going to miss out on a lot of blessings she could give you.

I’m telling you wife trusts me!!

Oh yeah? Well how often do you compliment your wife?

Compliment her for what??

For her hair, for how she treats you, for how she takes care of the kids?

It ain’t nothing to compliment her about, her hair look the same like it always has, she treats me like shit and my kids go be stupid cuz all they do is sit up and watch TV all day with her!

Whoa. Let me stop there, because before you know it, I’m going to get about 20 calls from different people talking about, ‘Mane..don’t be putting MY business on the internet!”

The good news is that God has blessed me to be a voice for Him. When the LORD hits you with the conviction to uplift His name, you ain’t go be able to do nothing else. Sometimes when I’m in church and I’m sitting there being fed by the Spirit of the LORD through singing, praise and worship, I say a silent prayer, thanking the LORD for the opportunity to serve Him, because I didn’t have to make it to this point. There are a lot of pitfalls I could have fallen into along my journey, but He kept me and I will continually praise His name.

I was walking over to sit next to one of my first Sunday School teachers one Sunday and when I sat down next to him, he looked at me and smiled and patted my hand. I had just returned from the podium from giving the announcements and welcome of visitors at our 11 o’clock service. My teacher leaned over to me and said..

I’ve always had high hopes for you…you were a smart young man.

Thank you Brother Wallace.

Just let Him use you..just let Him use you.

Those simple 5 words..just let Him use you. It’s a plea toward submitting to the will of the LORD. We all have our reluctances and reasons why we ain’t ready for all that yet. But once I gave up looking for reasons why I couldn’t join the battlefield, and instead started looking up for THE reason to join the battlefield, that’s when I started penning things like Soldiers In the Hood.

A couple of my friends started tweaking a bit when I started writing with an evangelical voice. Trying to make n’gaz understand why I know that Jesus is LORD, it started throwing some of my friends off. Especially the ones who had already put Christians and everything associated with Christianity in a box with all the other religious zealots. A lot of people falsely assume that only 'ministers' are supposed to tell others about Christ.

Mane D…you go start preaching!

Naw..I already have.

When I sit in church and I meditate on the LORD..and I ask Him to use I meditate on surrendering my soul to Him, I often find that my favorite part of service is when it’s time to get into that Word. When the minister gets up to give the sermon of what thus saith the LORD.

That’s when my mouth starts watering and my stomach starts’s time to eat.

And as I sit and listen to different ministers, I pray for the LORD to prove my heart and direct my path. And I immensely enjoy hearing good preaching. It doesn’t have to be loud and he don’t’ have to sing or dance, I just like hearing God’s prophets feed the flock.

Since I’m still relatively new to the faith, maybe God has me in training, maybe I’ve got to learn more, maybe I’ve got to understand better, before He calls me to get up and address the congregation? I dunno. All I know, is that my ear is attentive to His command. And where He calls me, I must go.

The ministry that He has placed on my heart, and that pulpit He has bid me to step on , is to that sea of young parents and parents to be in the world. My wife and kids are a large part of my testimony and the reason that I was able to mature to where I am today.

A lot of people see me and my wife and they exclaim ‘What a handsome couple!’, (it’s good when you have a wife that looks so good that she makes you look better!) but what so many people don’t see, is the story behind our smiles. We weren’t always hugging each other and smiling with feelings of loves. I was my wife’s baby daddy before I was her husband. We’ve survived through some episodes when the doctor had pulled the plug on our relationship..flatline. The LORD came through with that CPR like no other..and I’m just glad to be here telling ya’ll why I know that He’s real.

And now that we’re that we've made it to this level of security and love for each other...I know God wants us to let the world know that you can do ALL things through Christ. Not some.

So I placed all my fears and worries about the safety of my family in the hands of the LORD and I moved on. God hasn’t told me to get rid of all my guns yet though. I live on the Southside, we still have a lot of crackheads and jackers around here.

So yeah..that’s David Earl Washington II. Notice that’s not a ‘Jr.’ and it’s not the “III”. It’s the Roman numeral for two. People ask me why is it the II and not Jr and I remind them that kings don’t do the junior thang.

My father is a king and I’ve always grown up knowing that I will have my throne to sit on one day too. A man’s house is his castle. I’m the king, my wife is the queen and our children are our little slaves. I’m just joking about that. I love my children..ALL of em. My nieces, my nephew, my godson’s, my cousins, just like Trick Daddy, D. Wash luv da kids!

And I know that it is our responsibility to train them in the way that they should go. Get them ready for that battlefield that they’re going to face. That’s why I write. That’s why I must tell people about Jesus. Because there is no other name under Heaven that will save our families today. In case ya’ll haven’t noticed, the family as we know it is in critical condition and on the verge of flatlining.

So many kids have NO IDEA what it means to have two loving God fearing parents taking care of them everyday. So the grow up and they just don’t know. Literally raising themselves. Finding their own way through the wilderness without a strong guide and mentor. And then these untrained children are growing up to have their own children. And since no one ever taught them, they don’t know how to teach their own and the cycle intensifies.

It ain’t all about single parent household either. Cuz there’s a lot of married folks living under one roof who are married in name and residence only. They do not function as one unit. She got her money, he got his money and they co-habitate. This ain’t helping the kids either. Kids can tell when mommy and daddy ain’t getting along with each other.

So..that’s where I am. My pen is focused on the family. I don’t’ write for a ‘church’or ‘G’ rated audience. With my slang and subject matter, I’m more of a rated R writer. Some folks trip on that, but they just don’t know, if I would have been putting it down on the paper, say 10 years ago? Then I would have been rated triple XXX..hmph..ya feel me?

So ya’ll religious zealots back up off me. I’m not what I’m going to be, but thank the LORD I ain’t what I used to be.

I’m just a weird dude, my favorite comedian is Richard Pryor, I love to read and study the Bible, I know the lyrics to a lot of rap songs like, UGK’s ‘Pocket full of stones’,

I got my first ki, from my baby mama brother..

And I love taking care of my family and serving the LORD. I’m from the Southside of Houston (Sugarvalley!) and both of my parents migrated here in the mid 60’s from Arkansas.

My sister and I spent our summers in Arkansas..with most of that time being spent in a small town with the population a little over 500 people. Country folks as most people call em. So I guess since we spent 3 months a year there, you could say I’m 75% Southside and 25% Arkansas. That’s the twerk in me that a lot of people don’t pick up right away. I’ve got that country in me mane..and I ain’t even tripping about it. In fact, I’m GLAD it’s there..because I know it’s real.

When I wrote Soul Food, a lot of people can identify with a pot of greens, but I’m talking about them people who know how to grow them greens. Something that’s real.

So please bear with me as I round that last curve in the race to finish my first published work. I know I haven’t been posting regularly, but my schedule has gotten very tight. I guess I figure a lot of people are like me when it comes to reading. The things I like, I read over and over again. Sometimes I catch a new meaning or a hidden joke that I didn’t notice before.

I’ve been pushing my pen on the block for a minute now. My wife and I got down with Don Diego at Stone Trail up in Addison, Texas .

We went to the Chris Rock concert and ran into the Mad Hatta and J-Mac.

My podna hooked us up with some scrimmage tickets and I wrote the Oiler Texan Connection.

Curvey and I slid over to the Shrine of the Black Madonna and I met and took a picture with J.L. King. Some weird things started happening after I posted On the Down Low. Some folks were mad that I would even give time and space to such a throwed off phenomena as undercover male homosexuality. Some folks even questioned MY sexual preference.

On the other end were people who were upset that I wasn’t more open minded toward gay issues. Which further proves, that the only true formula for failure is when you try and please everybody.

Through my writing, I have only introduced two works which could be categorized as ‘fiction.’ I first introduced Rev. Janky to the world via The Rules of Flirting.

Church Flirting
Good morning Sis. are YOU doing??

Just fine Rev. Janky..and you?

I’m blessed, I’m blessed..(grabbing both of her hands and looking from her toes up to her eyes while shaking his head slowly and smiling displaying a gold toothed grill) Lawd have mercy! You sure ARE blessed!! I gotta get me one of these good Sunday hugs!

You’re so crazy Rev. Janky. (hugging him)

Uh huh..just make sure you come see me during my office hours this week..I might need to ‘lay hands’ on you…(watching her intently as she walks away) Lawd Lawd Lawd..God is SO good!!

The second fictitious character I introduced was DJ Get-Wit-Cha in ‘After the Morning After’ and my first published work of short fiction was Rev Janky Jus Got Outta Jail.

Some people even asked me if Rev. Janky was a real person.

Although I do have the tendency to clown and enjoy myself, I don’t want people to misunderstand me and think that I’m playing with the LORD. I not only respect the LORD, I fear Him immensely.

I jumped into the socio-political fray with Adam and Eve Were Iraqi’s and Born With a Grip.

I jumped into theological discussion with the Reason for the Season

I introduced my great grandmother to the world through my discussion on Power..

Ya’ll hursh now! God is talking.

So I’m here now. And I now that the site has grown, some of my family and friends have started to get a little antsy.

Some are upset because I haven’t shown their name or their picture yet..some are almost having conniptions worrying that I will show their picture or refer to their name.

The thing about privacy, is that I try to respect every person’s right to it. But the legal way of looking at things, is that if I have a picture that I took with my own camera that somebody posed for? Then it’s mine. Nyahh-nyahh!!! (sticking my tongue out and giving a good ol raspberry)

Of course, just because someone has appeared or been referred to on this website, doesn’t mean that they believe what I believe. Everybody has their own walk with the LORD. All I know is that one day, ALL of us are going to have to give an account of ourselves and what you see right here is a n’ga getting his paperwork together for that Eternal Judgment. Ya feel me?

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Servinemup Ink Distribution Model

"Now therefore, fear the LORD, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the LORD! And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." - Joshua 24:14-15

I’ve been getting some pretty strange emails lately...

Are you sick?

Have you quit writing?? need to post something new!!...Shoot!!

So first let me assure everybody that I’m doing fine. I no longer feel that I have to ‘prove’ myself or my writing skills to anyone, so I guess that urgency to start on another post as soon as I’ve finished with one is no longer following me around like a cloud.

Now what I have been doing, is promoting the business of Servinemup Ink, and that is publishing. So in a lot of ways I have to take off my writer’s hat and instead put on my publisher’s hat. Working closely with the Distribution Manager, Tommy Curvey, we have been slowly but surely increasing our distributorship network throughout Houston, Texas and the entire United States. This infrastructure is a very important part to success, because without it, the product doesn’t move as efficiently.

The distribution model that we’re using is very similar to the process that most drug dealers use..

“Cook it up in mama’s kitchen and let my kinfolk serve.”

Or like my boy’s from UGK say, “More workers, more workers.” Internet sales have a limitation, because some folks don’t have access, others don’t trust putting their credit card information over the cyber waves and still there’s other folks who don’t even have a credit card that works. That’s why it’s important to setup our local distributors throughout the country (and globe) to serve up the ink that’s flowing from the Southside publishing house known as Servinemup Ink.

God has blessed me to have a large blood family that is down for the cause that I’m pushing and they’re eager to get the books in their hands so that they can distribute a product that’s good for the hood and make a lil change while they’re doing it. We currently have local distributors in 15 cities in 11 different states:

Austin, TX

Port Arthur, TX

Grand Praire, TX

Ville Platte, LA

Mobile, AL

El Dorado, AR

Stone Mountain, GA

St. Louis, MO

Kansas City, MO

Medina, OH

Detroit, MI

Pontiac, MI

Colorado Springs, CO

Lake Forest, CA

With the most recent addition of my cousin Big Keeno (pictured) up in Milwaukee, WI. and we’re steadily reaching out for more potential dealers. So if you're trying to be down, holla at Curvey ( or 713.731.4737). Now this is where the plot really thickens.

Whenever you go out into a business venture with another person, you have to have some sort of guidelines set down. Because what may be cool to one person, is definitely not cool with you. I don’t consider myself as a dictator or micro-managing oppressor, but I do have some basic guidelines that Curvey and I make sure all our distributors are aware of. Everyone is required to read the Statement of Faith and above all understand that as for D.Washington and his (publishing) house, we shall serve the LORD.

All those other things that people may do outside of the business of Servinemup Ink is their business. But for those who want to move packs (ya’ll street n’gaz know what I’m talking about) and move books, then you might want to check yourself, because oil and water do not mix.

This isn’t a door to door selling type of things, we do NOT endorse knocking on doors of private residences.

This isn’t a church to church selling thing, we do NOT endorse pushing the product in churches, temples, synagogues or mosques. That’s almost the same as trying to sell dope in a school zone as far as I’m concerned. People in church have already acknowledged a Supreme Being, we’re pushing it to those who are in darkness.

If not for anything else, everyone is charged to respect persons of all faiths. But if they come at you talking that ‘Jesus ain’t really God’, then you are fully charged to let them fools know…in a loving manner of course. If they won’t accept it, then shake that dirt off yo feet and move on.

The target street customers are in public places: barbershops, beauty salons, nail shops, community colleges, rehabilitation centers, book clubs, etc. Places were people aren’t in a rush and may have some time to read something that’s real and that will help promote the health and welfare of fundamental Biblical principles of family and life.

On the other end of the coin, I have to screen and manage all of the potential writers and poets who have work they want to have published through Servinemup Ink. Once again, I have them all read the Statement of Faith and know that we’re not going to publish any material that goes against or expounds a doctrine or gospel other than that of Jesus Christ.

So the wheels are continually turning and on top of all that, my editor has given me a deadline to meet for the final draft of the first book, Real Game. She’s a tough chick from Philadelphia that’s been known to move planes with the sound of her voice, so she’s definitely not the type of person that you'd want to get on her bad side..ya’ll know how crazy those Philly fans are. I’m very glad to have her on the team, because she’s definitely a real player.

But I can’t say thank you enough and I’ve got to let ya’ll know how much I really appreciate the tremendous outpouring of love and support that I’ve received on this venture known as Servinemup Ink. From all of you who have shared the website link with others in your email distribution, to those who have linked my website with theirs, to all of you who show up and read through the writings of a crazy n’ga from the Southside of Houston Texas named D. Washington..I sincerely thank you from the bottom of my heart. I said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m looking forward to serving ya’ll for awhile.