Transparency Needed

A simple call for policy change.

Photo by Zane Lee on Unsplash

When I found Medium seven months ago, I found an avenue to share my thoughts with the world. I am an introvert. Medium provided a safe space for me to interact with others at my comfort level.

Those who know me well know my passion and first love is poetry. Prose challenges me to the point I have sleepless nights pondering over punctuation decisions.

When my friend William Spivey reached out to me about writing a piece for Black History Month I was honored, but apprehensive because of my love-hate relationship with prose.

Prose Panic

The topic of the Underground…

Sprint Poetry of Frustration

My frustration with the leader of Cult 45 never ends.

Trump harrassing the Statue of Liberty
Trump harrassing the Statue of Liberty
Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash

You have sad eyes, reflections of copious lies.
I see you over there!
You never did care.

I heard your words, those erratic turds flowing from your lips.
Spewing hate about being great, and now you walk away.
Lives lost, an incalculable cost that you will never pay.

Babies in cages and your venomous rages fanned flames of division.
Our country is torn, and I continually mourn
the consequences of your decisions.

This structureless poem reflects my mind and the confusion you created.
It makes no sense for someone so dense to still be celebrated.

You utter falsehoods that deflect…

#Hidden Herstory

The timing of David Dickson’s death made all the difference for his formerly enslaved only child.

Amanda America Dickson Toomer
Amanda America Dickson Toomer
Public Domain image

An improbability held my attention for what seemed like hours, but truly it was about three minutes. I rubbed my eyes several times thinking this would clear the obvious mirage in front of me, but it remained on the page.

The page in question was a record of the births of Willis Roberts’ children. Willis Roberts was my third great grandfather. The names of his white children were written marquis style on the page. Jerry Roberts, Willis’ first-born child, was wedged in above the listing of Willis’ white children.

Someone intended J.B. Roberts to be acknowledged, but for what reason?

Poetry of Pain

No matter what label is in fashion, I will always be a child of Africa.

DNA story courtesy of

I will not break away.
No matter what distractors say.
She is my mother and my past.
My love for her will forever last.

Divisive words spread contention.
Her name they say we should not mention.
Although I am her estranged progeny,
I feel her roots deep within me.

I do not heed the call to make her null,
and start my history from the slave ship’s hull.
The wonderful stories of her children’s reigns,
make me proud to share their blood in my veins.

I am descended from kings and queens,
not just folks of modest means.
I wish she could…

Sprint Poetry of Self-Love

Self-love is the ticket to Valentine’s Day every day!

Photo by Juan Carlos Trujillo on Unsplash
Spoken word by the author.

I pray for the day when the walls come down.
I long to tell you about the love in you I’ve found.
The solid fortress around my heart,
won’t let the words from my lips depart.

You keep searching for a way to enter,
the place where you are already the center.
If only the scars would budge and let you pass,
we could be together at last.

These stubborn guardians of past hurt and pain,
keep telling me to avoid the same fate again.

Part of me knows you are different, and you would…


And the Afro-Mestizo emancipator who opened the door to Mexico for enslaved people

“Portrait of Vicente Guerrero,” painting by Anacleto Escutia, photo by Eduardo Báez, from the collection in Museo Nacional de Historia, Ciudad de Mexico

There is a passion in my heart for history that began in my junior year of college. An African American studies course opened my eyes to an important fact: In previous grades, I suffered through His Story, not history class. The realization that my history education experience had been filled with the schoolyard bully accounts of conflicts was incredibly painful. This set me on a course to learn the truth.

When I became an educator, I did not impart to my students the legacy of lies that my teachers taught me. My pupils deserved to know the truth about historical…


I became a mentor to help others, but I discovered I needed help as well.

Image by Dominic Winkel from Pixabay

I never held her.

Yet other angels appeared.

They quell my deep pain.

In a previous Medium selection, I spoke about how much I love my sons. Now I am sharing about a difficult soul injury, miscarriage. The Haiku describes a hurt I will never get over, but I am getting through.

Gabrielle J’Lice Woods should have turned 30 on my 55th birthday. James and I were super thrilled when the doctor told us our daughter would be born on December 17th. We never got the chance to meet our daughter. …

Haiku-My Children

The sixteen-year age gap between my kids was an unexpected blessing.

Photo submitted by the author via Canva.

Two hearts that hold mine.

My gifts from the Universe.

You are my whole world.

When I was growing up, I never believed I would get married or have kids. My ordained mission in life would be to travel and do amazing things for the planet. When I met James C. Woods, those ideas vacated my brain, and I am glad they did.

Confirmation of my first pregnancy sent a wave of fear throughout my entire being. The thought of being responsible for another life was absolutely terrifying to me. Cameron’s premature birth exacerbated my fears.

The two weeks Cameron…

Being Right Will Always Win in the End

My beloved great uncle stole wealth from his siblings and watched them struggle in abject poverty.

Three Black children are pictured with an adult.
Three Black children are pictured with an adult.
Daisy, Crystal, and Ray Guthrie with Sam Earl Collins, photo provided by the author.

The Greek word storge describes love among family members. Sam Earl Collins understood no sense of this word. Discovering my great uncle’s deception and theft was one of the most disappointing events of 2020.

Family Love

2021 is the year of love for me! The love of my family supported me through many perilous times of the 2020 dumpster fire.

Last year I started thinking a lot about who I am and my family’s background. There were unexpected discoveries that intrigued me.

My journey through my family’s past encompassed highs and lows.

The Painful Truth

My third great-grandfather came to Texas in 1859 before the…


Stress vectors dine on your joy and leave you emotionally depleted if you allow them to do so!

A roller coaster is the backdrop of an amusement park.
A roller coaster is the backdrop of an amusement park.
Photo by Paul Minami on Unsplash

One problem is solved.

Peace and calm will not remain.

Dilemmas don’t stop.

I made a grand proclamation and declared 2021 as my year of love. Writing about love is my focus this year, not just romantic love; self-love is important. There are many enemies of self-love. My ride on the misery-go-round ended in 2020, and I am much happier!

Stress vectors, emotional vampires, problem peddlers, and drama divas have no place in my life today.

Exhausting is the best adjective to describe my interactions with the previously mentioned cast of joy eaters. …

Cocoa Griot


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