The Second Revolution

Some time has passed. Seven hundred and thirty days to be exact-I’d break it down into minutes but I don’t have the patience to write such a daunting number (it’s 1,051,200 minutes). The Golden Moment is two years old; the sun completing its second revolution. Some days crawl slower than others, and sometimes entire months pass before there is even a chance to say “Can you believe the year is almost over?”

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“Who I am is defined by what I do.”

But the end of the year is steadily approaching, and each December 4th-also my frat’s Founder’s Day (’06 to the good bros!),  I take a second to  remember where (and when) I started my  journey. I do this so I can measure the distance traveled, both from my starting point and towards my destination; I do this so I can attempt to chart my growth not only as a man, but as an artist as well; I do this because I’m stuck in nostalgia and often find myself reminiscing about days before. It’s been a challenging year, because the veil of ignorance no longer exists after the first year. There is no revert option when one gains experience, especially a year’s worth at that. But with each challenge presented this year, from the passing of a close family member to securing my dental hygiene license, I have gained something more than growth or experience; I have gained knowledge of my self. Now, I could sit here and write essays about this phenomenon ( head over to The Nuclear Cottage if you wish to read those), but since this is the Golden Moment, it’s more fitting that I express my sentiments through snapshots.

The Moments

This year I have been to both places old and new. From a summer music festival in NYC, the nation’s capital during testing political times, and to the corner of mainland U.S.A. These locations had an impact on me, however, it was the moments that make these places memorable. Whether it was rushing Franklin street after redemption night,  taking the stage at a national poetry competition, or expressing the grievances of the citizens in a city council meeting, these snapshots are some of my favorite moments from this year’s journey.

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Through the Fire (Chapel Hill, NC)
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Conversations with God (Durham, NC)
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Aristocracy (Spokane, WA)
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The Magic of… (Orlando, FL)
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Pisces Prison (Fort Fisher, NC)
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Testing…Testing ( The Stage)
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Flashes & Floaters (Charlotte, NC)
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Toll Bearer (Lake Wheeler, NC)
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Sketches and Secrets (Raleigh, NC)
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Civic Duties (Raleigh, NC)

 

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Bestowed Blessings (Jersey City, NJ)
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Slumbering Dragons (Washington D.C.)

The Muses

These are certain individuals at a specific moment throughout this year that defined not only my portfolio, but my passion as well. Artists baring emotions on stage, protestors taking stance for their truths, day one homies, and even complete strangers who may never cross paths with again. I’ve done my best to capture them in their natural state, showcasing their authenticity as both a subject and, more importantly, a human being.

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America has forgotten its true founders.
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Just A Hit (Niya Wells @ Imurj)
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On The Radar (Chubbz @ the Crib)
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Parouken (Geo @ the Shores)
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The Pirate King (Jooselord @ Beats N Bars)
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Working Women + Coaches (Traphiit @ SE Raleigh)
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Head of the Pack (Student Activists @ NC State)
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Mom & Pop (Kristian & Michael @ UNC Botanical Gardens )
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Forever and a Day (The Hendersons @ The Rand Bryan House)
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Soul Squad (The Amayas @ La Casa)
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Mr. Business (Terrance @ Raleigh)
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Du-Rags and Soul Power ( Raleigh Squad @ Bryant Park)
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Caribbean Crazies ( The Flamboyant Feathers @ Raleigh)
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Whyl Times ( Squad @ Lake Normal)
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Backbones (Pinky, Jerry, and Mikey @ UNC)
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Cool Blue Hue (Masego @ Art of Cool)
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De-Stressed (Konvo the Mutant @ NC Spirit ’17)
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G.O.O.D. Grief (Cyhi @ Beats n Bars)
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Show Out ( Nance @ Lincoln Theater)
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Post-Scripts (Antonio @ Jordan Lake)
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Merciful (Frankhavemercy @ Fayetteville)
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Jazz and JMSN (JMSN @ Art of Cool)
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Crystal Clean  (Ace Henderson @ Pinhook)

 

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The Executive Producer ( Cj @ Raleigh) 

 

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Mr. Late Night (3AM @ Carolina Waves)
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Publishing Rights (LaDarian @ Chapel Hill)
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Crispy (Mckinley & Ben @ Duke Gardens)
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Lion’s Pride (LV @ K97.5)
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 The Believer, Danielle. Losing you this year hurt, hurt more than anything I’ve experienced in recent years. But from that hurt came hope. The hope that I would become the person you believed me to be. I’m proud to say that I have.
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The Second Year. Great work this semester, I’m proud of all you’ve done, and all that you have lined up as well. Thanks for going on “trips’ with me! 
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The Day Ones, the roommates. Honestly, none of this (literally) would exist without them, and there’s not enough words that I could use to thank them; so, I’ll do the dishes for the rest of the week.

The Memoirs

Who have I been this year? Who have you been? Have things changed, were the successes worth the sacrifices? These images below are dedicated to the dynamics, the defining memories from this year.

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The Phantom, the shade. The dark side of my dreams. It was here that I found my fascination with fear.  Together, we will shape scary stories, and serve as an agent of creative catharsis, because the macabre needs a little bit of melanin.
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The Registered Dental Hygienist, the healthcare provider. What can be said about you that hasn’t already been shared? Thank you for finishing it, thank you for starting it. No calculus is safe!
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The Loc Tamer, the black unicorn. Remember that awkward phase where people suggested you should stop? Remember that time a group of camp students chanted that you were wearing a wig? Remember that patient whose face was filled with shock after seeing your hair? There is a similar memory for each loc on my head.
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The Lost One, the distant. Things happened this year, some out of your control, some within. What was felt during those times gave rise to the disconnect, and from it came you. Embrace the unknown, be unafraid to be lost within your mind.
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The Black Boy Joy, who knew mid-day rainstorms could birth such vibrant smiles? Thankful to be able to experience this level of joy in life; it feels whole.

 

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The Subject, the actor. Moving in front of the lens took a leap of faith (and self-confidence) but thanks to you, I will be able to accomplish my childhood dream of being the next Denzel Washington, or loc model ha.
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The Director, the filmmaker. I always wanted to make movies, even before I knew it. As a kid I’d play with the video camera and toys and pretend that beanie babies were actually kaiju. Who would’ve thought you’d revisit this dream and make it a reality.
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The Artist. I’ve struggled with you the most. I’ve wondered if you were real or something that I could deposit my dreams within. But now you’re here, or I’m here, or we’re here-I’m not sure how this works grammatically. We’ve only recently met, and our encounters since then have been some of the most defining experiences. No more fear. From this day, I choose to be art.

 

2017 Reviewed

January

  • Finalist in Jambalaya Soul Slam (1st Poetry Comp.)
  • Shapeshifter (1st Horror Short Story)
  • Angor Animi” (Visual Poem)

February

March

  • Inspirationist” (Visual Production)
  • Henderson Wedding ( 1st Wedding Photography)

April

May

June

  • “Samurai 17” (1st script)
  • Jambalaya Soul Slam Winner + Rep for iWPS

July

August

  • What I Do” Music Video (Director/Writer)
  • Caribbean Festival Coverage
  • The Dark Side” (1st Single + Music Video)

September

  • Beats N’ Bars Festival (1st Music Fest Coverage)
  • Jambalaya Soul Slam Winner

October

  • Terror Tuesday!
  • Individual World Poetry Slam (Ranked Top 50)
  • Submitted “A Series of Famous Last Words” to competition
  • Mr. Akiki (Horror Short Story)

November

Event Horizon

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Some time has passed, and more time will continue to pass. Maybe it will be another year before you visit, maybe it will be another week, maybe this will be the last time you click the link in the bio. Regardless of the temporal distance between your visits, I hope that you grow. I hope that you develop whatever dreams you believe in. I wish this for each and every one of you who visited this page-and even those who have not-because you have done the same for me. Reaching this new stage, conquering the Terrible Twos, may have started out as a solo adventure, but now the journey has become a shared experience. It is universal; and ,I pray that our paths will cross as time continues to pass.

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