Transplanting: A Review of Octavia E. Butler’s “Parable of the Talents”

A whole lot of things have changed. My outlook on the world had shifted along with how I perceived myself. Wandering around a what seemed to be broken country, picking up pieces of myself along the way. Decades have passed but the one thing that has always been prevalent is my heightened sensitivity and awareness of my emotions. I’ve been aware-yes, but the understanding wasn’t clear until recently. The struggle of searching for such understanding pushed me into dark places and into unforgiving friendships and relationships. I’ve lost myself many times, each time rising to a new level as I continued to learn and grow despite however low my depression managed to take me. No matter what, love came to find me one way or another, in people, places and in all the quiet moments to myself in between. I found something so empowering and self affirming in those moments these past few months, as I allowed Octavia E. Butler’s writings to imprint itself on my heart and encourage my desires to be openly outspoken. She has aided in this season of my life in many ways, giving life to my newness in the artistry while teaching me so much that which I hope to share with someone else.

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Companion Planting: A Review of Tyler, The Creator’s “IGOR” Album

Love is a whirlwind. It chases you in dances, with some songs going longer than others. You know from the first time you hear certain songs, that you love it, immediately. Pushing others to the side, wanting more time and rewinding back to it every chance you get. The magnitude of something like this crept over me over the past 4 months, as if not to frighten me too much, but it still did. Of course, it did. Being showered with romantic love began to teach me so much more about myself that I could ever imagine. It wasn’t so much of a “change” necessarily as it was as if there was a dimension of myself that was being unfolded for me to see finally. 30 years of learning to love all the small nuances about myself and then here comes this new girl, coming to shake things up for sure. This moment of realization began to show itself with intentional timing and the very first listen of Tyler the Creator’s IGOR album impacted the biggest turning point in my life.

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Organic: A Review of Megan Thee Stallion’s “Fever” Album

Authentic can sometimes be a tricky word. In a society of constant change and expected criticism, displeasing labels are placed on many of us with and without knowing. It’s taken me 30 years, but I’ve realized, thankfully, that I’ve never had all the answers on how to be my “authentic self” but I’d always see her when I was holding the right mirror. It was the reflection in people I’ve met, the relationships I fostered, the black cultural experiences I’ve taken advantage of throughout the years and the love grew with each new wave of inspiration. Sometimes you go looking for the “right” mirror and then there are times when you catch a glimpse of yourself in a store front window and must do a quick double take. Unbothered by the thought of anyone inside having a judgmental view, you admire your features and accept the reflection for what it is. Those are the mirrors that remind you of your authentic self because of its raw unexpectedness. I find pleasure in knowing that Megan Thee Stallion is an artist that held a mirror to some of my favorite attributes about myself in more ways than one.

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Cover Crop: A Review of Beyoncé’s “Homecoming” Documentary Pt. 2

So, I’m a mover. A writer to be exact. It’s taken awhile for me to claim that part of me, even though it’s been there since I could remember. Between Solange’s album and Beyoncé’s documentary, I have been able to find the words to manifest what I’ve always dreamed of; being all of myself. No more hiding behind my own doubts and negative thinking about my potential. I had arrived and there wasn’t any intention on turning back now. The questions that were yet to be answered were, what was I to do with this new energy that I had found? Where was my focus supposed to be from here? What were my words going to be responsible for and with what platform? I was ready for my voice to be heard, however the exact words needed were still being formulated. Acknowledging my starting point was by far the bravest things I’ve done for myself. I was admitting my readiness.

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Cover Crop: A Review of Beyoncé’s “Homecoming” Documentary Pt. 1

Let me choose my words carefully here. Not that this is a sensitive topic that we’re heading into, I just want to be sure I relay my feelings fully and thoroughly when it comes to this documentary. Intense. Yes, that’s what I’ll start with. Beyoncé’s Homecoming documentary was an experience with the intention to share so much, for so many people.  For a month and a half, I was intoxicated with love and light. Motivation and inspiration continued to rain on me, and my thoughts became pillars of hope. Usually, those same pillars could be only found when despair was near. Somehow, I had finally found the strength to remain hopeful as this manifestation consistently unfolded itself as the days passed. Creativity brewing and bubbling inside of me. As excited as I had felt with the changes happening, I knew more was coming. She was coming.

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Budding: A Review of Solange’s Album “When I get Home” Pt. 2

So, here we are at Part 2 of the Review of Solange’s Album. I’d like to first thank you for returning to celebrate this experience with me. Part 1 was the introduction to a very important weekend in more ways than one and I have been grateful to be able to express this journey of growth, I’d never imagined before then. My creative spark had been reignited in the most perfect way for me. Waves of clarity came rushing in with each listen of this album. As coarse as the waves were, the thought of drowning, surprisingly, never presented itself like it had many times before, whenever I thought I had caught a glimpse of my potential. Only this time, a glimpse was an understatement. This was my story of purpose unfolding before my eyes, expeditiously and everything in me knew to hold on to this moment.

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Budding-A Review of Solange’s Album “When I get Home” Pt. 1

Often, I have considered what exactly would an artist want us, as fans to get from their work. It’s hard to specify just one idea or message that all creatives would hope comes across in their projects but if I had to focus on anything that draws me in, it would be the inspiration of movement. Now, when I say “movement”, I’m not only speaking of physical expression such as dancing but the idea of being progressed or transformed by the art itself. I am very aware that this doesn’t always happen with just any artistic project and that other fans may not feel the same way I do. What I do know is, over the past months I have experienced a transformation that was prompted and profoundly enhanced by several Black artists. Solange is, without a doubt, one of those artists and the first of many I’d like to highlight here on The Black Sunflower.

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Good Tilth

This world is big and bold. It faces you dead on, with eyes of your ancestors resting their gaze on the dangerous person you’ve become. Yes, you’ve read that correctly. Dangerous. One decision can change everything-it has changed everything and you know that. You’re here at this exact moment reading this and contemplating what the miscalculated risks could be. Am I capable of being the person I’ve dreamed about? Is it possible to be free to pursue who I am? I could continue playing it safe with where I am now, in the most toxic relationship I’ve ever been in. A place full of resentment that uses and abuses the best part of me. I could do what I’ve always done and seek out the infamous and ill-defined “work-life balance”. Night after night attempting to drown out my thoughts of disappointment every night in my living room with music, drawing, coloring or reading. Finding something, anything to take my mind away from the judgments I’ve put upon myself for staying too long, for allowing myself to become comfortable here, for knowing that I am not living with the passion I once had and remaining complacent all these years.  What happens now, you ask? Well, for me, it’s time to take that risk; to define my greatness on my own terms.

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