one day it’ll all make sense-common with adam bradley

and his mama. huh. “does he discuss his homophobia?” is the first question that a stranger (with whom i have a lovely lady in common) asked me on the phone this morning just as i was finishing this book. well, yes-though for me, he reconciled that on electric circus– the prodigal album, the one i lost respect for him for apologizing for. i had the feeling opposite to that of finding out that jean grae was the sleeper guest on the blacksmith tour in montrillmama rashid is all over this book, and even he didn’t mention it in the LA public library talk that he did recently. i’m sure i’ll get into this when i talk with the listed co-writer soon, but for the moment-huh.

“There’s so much about him that’s still a mystery, even to me. What I do know, though, is that I like him. I really like him. Of course, I love him, too. As mothers, we always love our children-but we may not always like them.” (x)

To begin with, I never liked him more than I liked me. I don’t mean love-I loved him more than anything. But I always liked me best. If you don’t like yourself, it makes it very hard to like and to love your child. So when I was raising Rashid, there’s no way that he could have three pair of shoes if I only had two. And I’m the one working? That’s not reasonable, mothers. How in the world do these young mothers go buy their child a designer something that costs a hundred dollars and you don’t have a savings account? You don’t have a house. You live in an apartment.” (29)

“I learned these lessons because I had to. Sometimes I wonder whether I could have done more to teach Rashid how to move between multiple worlds. For all of Rashid’s gifts, he doesn’t really have that hustler’s mentality. Perhaps it’s because he never really had to hustle; he never had to face not knowing where he might get his next meal or where he was going to sleep. Maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe that’s progress. But I can’t help thinking that it’s left him without a certain kind of equipment for living.

In the last couple years, Rashid’s gotten better at balancing several things at once. He’s had to. But I don’t think he understands or even defines hustling in the same that I do. He’s one of the hardest workers I know. But a hustler? I’m not so sure. He’s still got room to grow. He still has years and years to go.” (41)

“Here’s my definition of hustling: knowing how to survive in a world that’s set you up to fail. That’s why, as black people, we’ve had to strive so hard to develop a hustler’s instinct and pass it on to our children. You have a door closed in your face? You have to learn how to pick the lock or maybe just knock it off the hinges.” (14) 

“Taraji was the one I truly, truly loved. I never even told Rashid that until after they were already broken up. I knew from the start that he wouldn’t stay with Taraji. Part o fit was that their personalities were so different. She’s a little more outgoing. Even though Rashid is gregarious and personable, he’s really sort of a private person. And you can’t be too out there for him. I’m not sure that he ever really, really loved Taraji. At the time, he was looking for love. But he was comparing everyone to Erykah. Taraji was the anti-Erykah in some ways.” (248)

dear mama.

(don’t you know we love you, sweet sadie).



3 thoughts on “one day it’ll all make sense-common with adam bradley

  1. ladies love com sense:

    “Little did she know that every lunch hour, my new girlfriend and I would head over to the bar and have a drink to go along with our lunch. I think my drink of choice was a Shirley Temple.” (22)

    that’s a very good drink.

    “I’d always loved women. My first crush was probably my babysitter, Sheree. I’d cuddle up to her whenever I could, maybe even try to sneak a touch. I remember one time she put me to bed at her house, and I noticed this stiffness growing in my pants. It was my first erection, but I didn’t know what was happening so I threaded my joint through my pajama bottoms and fell asleep. I was soon awakened by the strange sensation that it was raining-indoors! I was peeing all over myself, straight up in the air and down into my chest in a perfect parabola.” (71)

    i just feel like we should “pause” that.

    “Those words really reached me. And although there was only so much I could improve upon in my performance-my guys still clown me for it to this day-I would take that lesson with me into my first professional acting jobs. I still carry it with me today. That’s the kind of wisdom that Ms. Hill has to offer.” (186)

    “On tour, I’m always most interested in talking to the girls who don’t seek out attention. My people know this. If a crew of girls comes backstage, my guys will pick out the one who’s most likely to get overlooked-the one who’s too this or too that. Maybe it’s the sister who’s been waiting forever to meet me, who may not be considered conventionally beautiful. That’s the one I want to see. I see the inner beauty in all women. When women come backstage, I treat them with respect. Most of them only want to talk; they might think they want something more, but in the end, the best thing that can come of it is a human connection.” (205)

  2. back in the day:

    “I remember it was a Wednesday and we were in the middle of a scrimmage when someone rushed into the gym with the news of Mayor Washington’s death. There were six-footers in tears about it. But there was one kid on the team, a white kid named Ed, who started clapping at the news. I’ll never forget that. Where does that kind of hatred come from? How could he have built up so much bitterness when he wasn’t any older than fifteen, sixteen? The coach had to excuse him from practice to keep him from getting beat down by the rest of the team. He played out the rest of the season, but my relationship with him was never the same.” (82-3)

    “When I listen to these early songs, I hear a young guy who’s just full of…mucus. For real. I would always be stuffed up; that dairy will jack up your tone. But more than anything, I would hear the heart of a raw, young dude. I would always be stuffed up, though.” (129)

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