Channel 23


Channel 23

When I turned on the TV this morning it told me it hated me. 

The rhetoric that spewed from political figures who are "whole-heartedly" supposed to be finding solutions 

for me and my community looked like a white-washed version of connecting to my people's "reality." 

If that wasn't bad enough the commercial that followed showed a baby who was made in my shade being 

silenced and used like a living room coffee table as though her voice wasn't meant to be broadcasted on 

daytime cable. 

Do you think she is not capable? 

I want to scream "take your elbow off her loc-crowned head and try bowing to a child of royalty," 

But realistically, who will even hear me? 

I constantly find myself apologizing to my ancestors and elders for not having found solutions for our 

ailments but I don't know how to help this.

If only it was as simple as the suggestive instructions given to us in an impossible game of limbo.

How low will you go to gain independence? 

The next thing you know people are on the knees attempting to slide under the oppressive thumbs 

pushing down on our nations.

They encourage them to be patient and keep scaling against the concrete because some day life will be 

sweet and you won't have to think about things like this. 

Like remember that old thing, something in your textbook on the 277th page about people like you 

possibly be enslaved? 

We didn't like that part of the story too much so we switched it up because honestly they were just hard 

working people who were colored, happy and nappy working for free for some man they never imagined 

they would ever see. 

I'd bet hard earned money to support the notion that they say they don't like that part of the story because 

to them those historical facts are fiction or mere dramatizations stationed in the black mind. 

Too bad I can't be sucker free like them and live in their utopian realm where these things never 


Yesterday, those demons that MarShawn McCarrel ran away from by putting man made lead through his 

own head tried to take me too. 

They told me, like the TV, that they hated me. 

They hated that I speak up.

They hated that I rock a kinky puff. 

They hated that I told people my life matters. 

They hated that I defy black American stereotypes while trying to relearn traditional African patterns. 

They. Told. Me. They. Hated. Me.

And I could have went with them to end the pain.

And I could have went with them so I can stop questioning why this was the way I was made. 

And I could have went with them and accepted their claims. 

And I could have went with them but when I reached to take their hands I realized that I can't. 

I can't because he couldn't say no. 

I can't because so many black babies weren't allowed to grow. 

I can't because if I did I would never be able to add to the masses of voices trying to make them reap 

what they sowed.

And I can't because my story was meant to be told. 

So when the TV said it hated me I laughed accordingly. 

Got up, 

Hit my strut, 

Turned to the camera,  

And introduced myself. 

"Good evening, 

Most gracious salutations.

I am the face you've rarely seen 

But I'm here to change what your TV is saying."





My vision may be impaired for a moment but Ill never know what it means to be blind

I may find moments where I'm at a lost for words but I know eventually I have the ability to say what's on my mind

My meal plan may get low and my stomach will yell its hungry, but I'll never know how it feels to consider a dime as a lot of money

I may not wear the fliest kicks and flip script but at least I've never experienced sand dunes on my soles

I look on my twitter feed at people my age trying to be "chosen" not knowing that somewhere a child's lung is closing

I look on my Facebook which should be renamed picture book but the photos of vanity never depict the clarity of the discrepancies we may mistake for fantasies

Are y'all hearing me?

I hope so

And Lord knows I'm not that perfect advocate for realizations but I can attest to a few revaluations

Epiphanies that are only clear to me but I try to express them people claim them as unwritten comedies

But I know that there is more to life than what we see or believe or can conceive because Adam and Eve ate fruit from a tree that was forbidden

So are the truths we have hidden to allow myths to flourish and replace courage with deterrence but package it with the name swag

Oh yeah, and the cool guy with the dark shades and faulty grades with bills unpaid and focused on getting laid is the "ideal man"

And don't forget about the girl with the curvaceous body fawning ad flaunting without concerning herself with how this may affect her future connections with an office building

Must I remind young ladies about the Windex polished glass ceiling

It's still gleaming but I won't get into how your reflection on the glass is not a reflection of misdirection but being born with body parts that are seen as "inferior"

I digress because as a woman any mention of career and glass may cause me to strike some fear in ya through some vernacular of epic proportions and I'm not here to leave intellectual concussions

So back to my initial discussion of things I have never experienced or I hope to never again witness

Forgiveness to those who disagree with my philosophy but I believe we as in you and me have forgotten the importance of unity

You and me

Discovering feeling unfelt within our community

And the youth can see our separations and they go into the world showing the play by play even though we teach them that isn't the way

But who are we to say when we are the examples and only provide ample visions of racism

Discriminating and the destruction of nations we call home

And I'm not talking about where the buffaloes roam

But I am talking about the greenhouses that never release the gases of our cultures to the masses to be tasted or appreciated

So how dare you walk around jaded when your adding to the mis-education that feeds the parasites that causes the hatred between similar colors, religions and creeds


You and me must work on the uniting of the fighting for equality

We all raise up for different battle but fail to realize as one when can win all the medals

Not the gold and the silver and definitely not bronze

Because if we all came together our voices would be the deadliest fire arm

Shannon Nia





What is normal?

Am I to walk around and fit into your formal stereotyped boxes?

Mask my true identity because there is no room for me here.

But I cannot simply remove my skin in white washes.

My melanin does not go away with the fading of a tan,

So do not ask me to lay on your sandy beaches with clear blue waters hiding the truth on the other side of the boardwalk

There's a divide between being clear and clearing away the tides that were made by my people.

Their blood, sweat and tears made this country,


Twitter continues to show me the blood spilled on sidewalks and it is being categorized as "fears."

His hands are up.

She didn't shoot.

How can he scare you from his back?

Why did you steal their youth?

All these questions arise and all the evidence is transparent

But, if this has become a reality,

Does normal equate to killing?


Slow Jam.


Slow Jam.

Melodic tune creeping up the avenue

No auto-tune this is music with a real groove

Oh DJ man can you run back my jam

Felt it taking over and I sang about that man

Seem music brings me alive

Puts some type of glitter in my eyes

I lose myself when I hear that sound

Especially when the beat drop down

You know the one

The bass not too heavy

Saxophone and trombone always ready

The singer, voice like a god

All you can do is snap your fingers and nod

No rump shaking and dancehall grind

To understand this music you have to take your time

DJ please you know my request

Must I come over there and take over your desk

Make one last call for the lovers in the place

Drop another slow jam and easy with the bass

Shannon Nia Alomar 


God's Love.

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God's Love.



This silly thing we try so hard to grasp and lock away within our hearts

This thing that make us do unexplainable and sometimes unspeakable things

This “thing” that makes us want to keep giving our all, even when the actions are not repaid


For a long time I’ve tried to create a definitive answer or explanation of this word but I realized it is not something that can be put in a box and hold to one standard

It is something that is felt, not spoken

It is something that is unconditional, not contracted

It is something that is beyond human comprehension, but is a human aspiration

I’ve witnessed love in many rare forms

Not mine alone, but through others

From my family to my friends to the tumblr videos visually expressing people’s love stories to the couples I cut eyes at on campus… sometimes

I’ve witnessed this indescribable, yet heartwarming thing that I have always aspired to gain

But one day I realized it is not something that can be rushed, it is created

Then I realized that all those emotions I have been seeking already surround me from one person


Not an abstract him that can be found on this Earth, but Him, the great I am, the everlasting father and greatest love I will ever have

From the moment I was born, and even beforehand, God wrapped me in a cloak of understanding that even too this day is too powerful for me to understand

He knows what I need before I do

He can read me clearer than the bluest oceans

He makes me feel a comfort that not even the warmest physical touch can bring

No matter how many times I mess up He is right there with open arms waiting for me to run into His embrace

And most of all, he allows me to be who I am and helps me to love me the way He has always loved me

If I could sing, I would sing of his love

If I could dance, I was bust out the meanest praise dances you’ve ever seen

If I could draw I would take every color He’s ever created and paint a masterpiece of timeless wonders

But all I can do is write and lyrical compose words of his Grace

So here goes

Dear You,

You are amazing in every sense of the word

Some people believe you are not real because of how outstanding your relation to your people is, but I know you are

You reveal yourself to me every day in the smallest and biggest ways imaginable

Hold my hand and walk me to your promise land

I know sometime I may fall off and go astray and lose my way

But call me home and I will return because I am forever indebted to you

No material item in this world can compare to your grace

No sweet and well versed words could make me melt like yours do

No one could ever prove to me that they are as trustworthy and committed to me as you are because you died on a cross for me to be saved

Dying, is a concept I am greatly fearful of, but if you ever tell me my time is up and I must return to you I will depart happily because in your kingdom is where I want to spend eternity

So make me someone worthy of the name of being your child

Make me a proverbs 31 women to whatever partner you have designed for me, God bless him

And make me a mother of your creation and a future nation because I want you to use me in ways I could never imagine

Help me to continue to make you and those around me proud

Help me to continue to hold my head up high even in moments of despair and desperation

And help me to be vulnerable with you so I can heal and still proclaim your will

People may not always understand why I constantly bring up your name like a love-stricken school girl

But until they have found you they will never understand

The day you saved me from me was the day my entire life turned around

So what is love?

God is love and love is Him

Shannon Nia Alomar 

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