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The Sinner

Poetry time…

And it’s time to experiment.

So, I’m talking to a friend of mine who is telling me about her depression. I am listening, waiting for the opportunity to give her my  “You Have To Give Yourself More Time” speech. Somebody, please remind me to post it here. That speech is more of a motivational speech, it’s great for providing encouragement, and I’d welcome any of you to steal it once I post it and make it yours. It works; I’ve been using it for years. Anyway, it reminds me of this ambiguous poem I wrote… Inspired by Rumi, I wrote it to give my readers many interpretations. I named it simply “The Sinner”. Why? Because sin, like depression, like love (sometimes), like many things — including life itself–is temporary. It depends on the criminal as well as the victim. The cheater as well as the jilted lover. The depressed as well as happiness. The light as well as darkness. The sinner as well as God Himself. Take away what you will.

And by the way, this is my first post by phone. Just love this new age technology!! (Yes, I know; I’m a little slow…)

 

Thanks for visiting my blog.

 

“The Sinner”

Gloomy, dark days since
God’s gift had run its course
Tired, listless
Somber
Hopeless
Can’t seem to get out of bed these days
Through my trance-like gaze
I see a light that burns
Eternally
Illuminating my path to bliss in dreams
Of a past life
And Utopian futures
My dejected days await relief
Long, mentally-planned flights
Fantasy abound round these
Sleepless nights
It’s the only time I get to see you
Tell you how I feel
Answer the question: Why?
If I could turn back the hands of time
I’d find myself back in the days
When you were mine
It would remove this cloudy ceiling
That dampens my world revealing that which
Brings back the warmth and promise
That use to light my way…

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We GOT Our Reparations…

If we ONLY knew what we were capable of...

If we ONLY knew what we were capable of…

 

It’s all in your mind.

We’ve been free since 1865, and REALLY free since 1965. Stop begging for reparations, because you are asking a THIEF to pay what he stole–he won’t. God has given us reparations, but you’re spending it on bull shit. Stop asking White Jesus for it; he’s ordained your pastors to live in million dollar mansions and to drive Bentleys and shit, so HE won’t give it to you. We already have our reparations: $1.1 Trillion worth.

If I hear one more brother or sister say we are not free, I’m going to fucking BUST. No one is stopping us from taking our money and doing what we need. But you gotta budget it. We are too wasteful, too foolish with our money, for God to hand you a check like he was fucking Santa Claus. If Negroes got $100,000 each today, by the end of the summer, 99% of us would be broke and the Koreans, Jews, Chinese, White folks, you name it–would be flossing with our fucking money. But that doesn’t mean we can’t write our own ticket to success and full freedom. Most of us sign away our wealth as soon as we have the credit to do so. Each time you drive a nice car on a car loan, you use your credit card to go on vacation, you finance jewelry or a house you really can’t afford–you are STEALING your children’s inheritance, in basically pissing away your reparations. The thing is, everyone knows it, and that’s why they put check cashing places, buy-here-pay-here, liquor stores, and everything else we don’t need right in our neighborhoods. I predict on the Day of Judgment, when black folks ask God why He didn’t give us reparations, He will have to put out a memo that He did, but we spent it on bullshit.

We are a hell of a lot freer than we were when slavery was legal. The Black community is like a lion in the circus, or better yet–a lion raised since a cub in someone’s back yard. We are Lions who think we’re puppies and this is why the white man has his foot up black asses. We have enough financial power. manpower, voting power to build or destroy any institution in this country. but as long as we keep thinking we’re still slaves, every ethnicity will pass us in social status and political power. we are worth 1 trillion dollars, and still begging for reparations. we have made damn near every industry in America rich, from nails to movie theaters to Nike to thrift stores to the aftermarket wheel industry to jewelry to education, yet we can’t keep a damned black owned corner store in our neighborhoods open 6 months.

We need to stop acting like ex negroes and take our place in this community. You know, when white folks say we cry, they have a point. invoke the struggle–but don’t use it as a reason for failure or worse–inaction. We are POWERFUL and we are FREE. we just need to act like it. we need to stop waiting on White Jesus or Uncle Sam to make it right, they won’t. God has already opened the door. We just too busy throwing chrome doorknobs on the mother fucker instead of walking through.

Take a look at his picture. It illustrates us well. We just don’t know what we are capable of.

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Where We Messed Up… (I, Too by Langston Hughes)

This may be considered blasphemy by some of you, but I have to say it.

I believe that during the Civil Rights Movement, Black folks made a grave mistake which cost us the lives of many of our leaders–as well as severely hampered the success potential of the movement. When the conscience of the nation began to chip away at the national value called “White supremacy”–the media launched an attack on the Civil Rights Movement by characterizing Black people as impatient, ungrateful and everything else they’ve traditionally called us. The repulsive actions of American leaders, law enforcement, and citizens turned many against the existing system and support for the movement grew so America had no choice but to support the movement. This is where the nation’s leaders learned to use the media as propaganda to influence the masses.

There were two approaches to the Civil Rights Movement. One philosophy assumed that most of White America were good people, or deep inside them was a good person who just needed to hear the demands of Black people in order to make the right decision. This side of the movement sought to appeal to the conscience of the nation. It sat in, it gave speeches appealing to the “Christian values” that White folks held dear, it talked of fairness and doing what was right. On the other side, we called it like it was:  An evil, violent (or apathetic) people who cared less about the plight of the Black man in America or our suffering. This group understood that America would never do right by the Black man until he was forced to do so by law or gunpoint. It didn’t ask of anything of White America; it demanded equality and gave consequences if those demands were not met. It did not pander to the arrogant notion racists Whites projected that they were good people who were trying to do right; it pointed out the hypocrisy of a nation that claimed to be God-fearing but did nothing that God instructed them to do within their own religions–as well as its own Constitution. The Black Church stood on one side, with its “nonviolent” policy. The Nation of Islam, the Black Panther Party, and Black Nationalists stood on the other with a policy of self-defense-if-needed. Guess who received the media coverage? Guess who was painted with a “terrorist” brush?

Well, since the non-violent regime was covered more in the media, it also received the most money and the most prestige. Black people forever came to support that approach (even in current times)–which encouraged patience, discouraged outrage, demanded that Black people use an unfair/ineffective “legal/justice” system to get things done. This is why today, the Black man has made very small amounts of progress and can be all but ignored by today’s leaders and even made to feel guilty about demanding justice! When White America is offended and wronged, they are allowed to express outrage and demand immediate relief. Yet when Black America is offended and wronged, even Black leaders themselves will caution Black people not to rush to judgment or action. They will tell the Black man to calm himself down and let our already corrupt police departments to police themselves, investigate themselves, and find out “what happened”. (As if everyone doesn’t know “what happened”)  If you ever wanted to know why, in 2016, Black people are still discriminated against and never get justice from our leadership and by our criminal justice systems–look no further than how we have accepted rules favorable to those who commit these wrongs. The very people who commit crimes against Black people have written the rules about how you will react to those wrongs. This alone explains the impotence of Black leadership as well as any Civil Rights actions we undertake now. It started with “I Have a Dream“–paying no attention to “Ballot or the Bullet“, and is reflected today in today’s pussified NAACP and Al Sharpton demanding Black calm in the light of children killed by police.

This was reflected in poetry as well. If you look at the poetry of a Langston Hughes versus a Sonia Sanchez, you’ll see why you can name the poetry of one and why you couldn’t name one poetry of the other. I guarantee you never read Sonia Sanchez in school if you attended a Black public school–and I guarantee you never read either if you attended a predominantly White school.

Here is Langston Hughes’ “I, Too (Sing America)”. Following is Sonia Sanchez’s “Malcolm”, which I have memorized. In a future article, I’ll explain the differences of philosophy a little further. Thank you for visiting my blog.

Never forget...

Never forget…

 

I, Too

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.

They send me to eat in the kitchen

when company comes,

But I laugh,

And eat well,

And grow strong.

Tomorrow,

I’ll be at the table

When company comes.

Nobody’ll dare

Say to me,

“Eat in the kitchen,”

Then.

Besides,

They’ll see how beautiful I am

And be ashamed–

I, too, am America.

–Langston Hughes

do not speak to me of

martyrdom,

of men who die to be remembered

on some parish day.

I don’t believe in dying

though, I too shall die

And violets like castanets

will echo me.

yet this man,

this dreamer

thick-lipped with words

will never speak again

and in each winter

when the cold air cracks

with frost I’ll breathe

his breath and mourn

my gunfilled nights.

He was the sun that tagged

the western sky and

melted tiger-scholars

while they searched for stripes.

he said, “fuck you, white

man. we have been

curled too long. nothing

is sacred, not your

white face nor any

land that separates

until some voices

squat with spasms.”

Do not speak to me of living,

life is obscene with crowds

of white on black.

Death is my pulse.

what might have been

is not for him/or me

but could have been

floods the womb until I drown.

“Malcolm”

–by Sonia Sanchez

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Filed under Message to the Black Man, Message to the White Man, Poetry, Politics

My Prediction for What’s Next with this Election…

A quickie… I’m going to make a prediction: The GOP will have to divide itself, although it will be bad for business of divisive politics, it’s inevitable that there will be a split. However, if they don’t split, they will ultimately win the election. Don’t be so comfortable thinking Hilary has this. She is somewhat friendly to people of color, and America HATES that. But she is a whore for big business, while Donald IS big business. Hilary wins, big business runs the country like a monarchy. Donald wins, he BECOMES a monarch. Here are my reasons…
1. There actually was a split when President Obama was first elected. If anyone remembers the Tea Party, you had your conservatives, then you had the ultraconservatives who believed the Republican Party sold out. But they realized they didn’t have the numbers to make a split–and had to rejoin forces in the last election because they had ONE common enemy: The Black President.
2. The GOP consists of three groups of folks, if you hadn’t noticed: The wealthy, whose agenda needs to be served, but they don’t have the numbers to win any election–so they have to appeal to middle class Whites and ambitious Blacks who want to “class elevate out” of the Black community (both making up the second group). But as the Black and Brown communities grow, the wealthy and the middle class are relying heavily on poor anti-“minority” Whites, who have to be convinced that the reason they are poor is because of Blacks and Latinos. By aligning poor whites with the racist-based agenda of the upper two classes, they have the numbers to get things done. So the rich protect their interests, the middle class eliminate competition and secure their middle class status, and the poor satisfy their resentment of people of color.
3. The more I look at Trump, the more I realize that Trump isn’t there to win the election. He is there to help Hilary win. Has anyone noticed that Trump has ZERO political experience? You need more work experience to work as a **manager at Walmart** than this man has in trying to land a job running this country. Has no one noticed? Anyway, for the last 20 years, Donald Trump has been a friend of the Clintons–a CLOSE friend–and now he is running against her. I think he’s a plant who infiltrated the Republican Party, and the Repubs have just realized that fact. Notice in the debates how Trump got poor Whites all worked up by talking about nothing but race politics. He has introduced nothing about his plan to be President. But what he HAS done… gave a list of Republican candidates who he has bribed, stated that HE cannot be bribed, denied that the war on Iraq is legitimate, told on the party for profiteers on the financial crises as well as the war… He is destroying the party, and doing it quick. One thing the Republican Party never addresses is the plight of poor Whites, but guess who are? Sanders, Clinton, and Trump. In the next two months, I bet they will pull Mitt Romney on the trail to counter Trump, because the Right doesn’t want him. They can’t control him, and they realize he is not their friend.
4. Is anyone aware that Trump made a deal with the Republican Party to win this election for them? Yes he did! And on a few occasions, he has threatened to break his contract with them. I suspect that the Republican party really doesn’t like him, but they want one of their own in office, and he’s the only one interesting enough to win. See, DT isn’t a politician, but he’s childish, as is most American voters. He will run a social media campaign, and once he gets in, if he gets in–will break from how the party does things, and run the White House as if it was one of his reality shows. I’m expecting a fucking media circus. They’re creating a monster, and will regret that shit. Remember you read it here first!
The Right has realized that by appealing to poor Whites, they will not be able to draw from the Latino voting bloc anymore. Ten years ago, they were trying, because their numbers are dwindling and the conservative White male is now a minority in this country. But due to the immigration battle, they have completed alienated the majority of Latino voters (except for affluent Latinos) and without Trump-like dog whistle race rhetoric that most Repubs use reluctantly, they will have a difficult time getting that poor White vote without a Donald Trump. This should be interesting.
Thanks for visiting my blog!

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His Purple Reign Is Over…

Prince SymbolI’m heartbroken.

Yeah, I’m a Prince fan. I wasn’t always. When I was 14, I had a girlfriend who loved Prince. She talked about him, wore the buttons, wrote in that easily recognizable 80s-Prince-style shorthand, even dressed like him. As a self-respecting ghetto boy, I couldn’t get with the program. I liked Hip Hop and DC GoGo music, and his Royal Sweetness was too effeminate for my taste. I liked 1999 and some of his earlier albums–but after seeing the video, I was cool off of Prince.

But then, I had my first date.

Purple Rain hit the theaters, and Mustafa Akamo’s first date was that movie–with my Grandfather sitting between us. Hey, it was a different time then! I went, griping about the theater she chose–I sure as hell didn’t want none of my homeboys to see me coming out of that theater. Hell, it was not much different than getting caught coming out of the porn theater! Anyway, by the end of the first song and scene of the movie, I was a fan. And have been ever since.

I don’t know about you, but I was a fan in the biggest way. Being a fan of Prince’s music was something I couldn’t share with my friends. We were ghetto kids, we did manly things like play streetball, football, and boxed. We fought kids from rival neighborhoods. This was DC, we wore lumberjack jackets, Adidas tennis shoes, our hats backwards, and if you liked something strange like David Bowie, Culture Club, or Duran Duran–you’d better keep that shit to yourself. Not that I was a closet fan… It was just something I enjoyed by myself. I owned all his albums, all the 45s, collected magazines with articles and song lyrics (but no posters–I drew the line there–this was an admiration of the music, not a damned crush lol). I even started writing in the shorthand. I wore trench coats, loved purple, let my hair grow long. I had a lot in common with him. We were both biracial Black men (so I thought, turns out–both his parents are Black), loved motorcycles, rock music, identified ourselves as “brothers”. Except I liked my women chocolate and dark, but he liked mixed women. No biggie.

I had four girls during my Prince stage that I was crazy about, but they were older and liked me as a friend and didn’t reciprocate:  Lauren Kelly-Washington (who went to Georgetown Prep), Kamalah Lucas (either Duke Ellington or GP), Lisa Ponder and Bernadette Brandon (who both went to Eastern High). I wrote love letters. I called them (during my time knowing them) daily, incessantly. I befriended them and learned how to talk to girls. Prince was there all the time, telling me what to say, even when I might as well have been listening to Chinese Arithmetic, because I had no clue what he was talking about. He accompanied me on dates. He was in the background when I daydreamed about them. By the time I made it to the University of Maryland, I was a well-seasoned Playboy. armed with my ambiguous bilingual ghetto-boy/intellect/poetry-writing street kid persona–and women found me to be an irresistible bitch. I could be romantic, intriguing, and fight two niggas at the same time. Articulate-as-hell-but-carried-a-gun type of interesting. Prince seduced the nation, and he taught me to seduce those I came in contact with, simply by being different, being exotic, being strange and peculiar, and being myself. At a time I was struggling to fit in, I learned through him, that fitting in isn’t always where it’s at. They laugh at me for being different; I learned to laugh at them because they are all the same. There’s power in standing out.

I used to say that three things pulled me back from becoming just another brother on the street:  my mother insisting that I was Filipino, my Cuban stepfather who taught me to dress and dance, cook and speak some Spanish, and Prince’s music–which balanced the pull of DC calling me out my racial mixture to join the rest of the brothers. Those who know me know that I am equally Afrocentric and exotic. Many don’t like it; they want me to choose sides. Prince was all about not choosing sides. Shit, that fool wouldn’t even make it known that he was decidedly straight, riding the fence and staying in the gray area is what made this brother stand out. Everybody loved him. Black folks knew he was Black. Latinos loved him because he gave nods to Latin rhythms and music. White folks thought his momma was White, and considered him to have “transcended race” (which happens to be White people’s way of saying “He can’t be Black, we like that nigga too!”).

The brother didn’t leave the race; he wasn’t bisexual. He was just Prince. That’s all. He was who he was, and the place he loved to hang out was right there in the middle. And in the middle where everybody could identify with him and appreciate him. He was kinda White, kinda Black, kinda Latin, kinda Hip Hop, kinda Rock, even kinda Country, kinda straight, kinda gay. He taught those who loved him to get past their own limited tastes and biases and just appreciate him for who he was:  an awesome musician.

There are people who are “fans of Prince’s music”, but then there are “Prince fans”. Prince fans got into more than just the music; we learned as much as we could about him. We still bought all his albums, even though he hadn’t had a #1 hit since 1989–and went to his concerts religiously. We dressed differently, we talked differently, we wrote differently. We enjoyed his music, then studied the lyrics asking, “What did he actually mean by that?”  We categorized dates and life events by whatever Prince songs we were jamming to at the time. He wasn’t just making albums we loved; his music was literally the soundtrack to our lives. And now, he’s gone.

There was a joke about his Royal Badness–that he was the only guy who could wear a headwrap and eyeliner, and STILL take your woman from you–and it’s true. He is probably the only guy a very straight man, even homophobic ones, would admit comfortably was a Sexy Mother Fucker and still feel masculine. Like I said, there will never be another.

This was our Elvis, the Black man’s 9/11. He taught us to say screw the mainstream, screw status quo and do your own thing. For that, I’m honored I had the pleasure of being a Prince fan.

June 7, 1958 - April 21, 2016

June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016

From Him we came, to Him we return. Till we meet again, Prince Rogers Nelson. Rest in peace, my brother.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

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Filed under Inspiration

My Reading List (Autobiography of Malcolm X)

Okay this blog is going into so many directions.

I have this theory, that Black men must be well read in the effort to improve our condition. My recommendation for the reading list begins with “The Autobiography of Malcolm X”–or as most Black folks would call it, simply “The Autobiography”. Ask for it by that name, any Black man or woman worth his weight will know what you mean. I feel every Black man’s REAL education should start with Malcolm X’s Autobiography, and there are so many directions to go after that. But this book, out of all, was the most important and memorable for me. Malcolm’s story is one that the Black man as a people, in America, has undergone–that to understand him, we understand ourselves. He was a man who experienced the worst of racism as a child. His father was killed by racists, and forced into a life of despair and oppression and extreme sadness. As he grew up, because both smooth and charismatic, educated and well spoken, physically strong and angry. Then he finds himself in prison and is exposed to the teaching of the late Elijah Muhammad and his brand of religion that he called “Islam” (Not Islam, but a Black American version of it).

It didn’t end there. He grew as a “Black Muslim” and then became a “Muslim”. It was a powerful transformation.

malcolm-x-syracuse-universityHere is an excerpt from an interview used for the book:

“Everybody’s wondering why I’ve been going back and forth to Africa. Well, first I went to Mecca to get closer to the orthodox religion of Islam. I wanted firsthand views of the African leaders — their problems are inseparable from ours. The cords of bigotry and prejudice here can be cut with the same blade. We have to keep that blade sharp and share it with one another.” Now he was sounding like the old Malcolm: “Strangely enough, listening to leaders like Nasser, Ben Bella, and Nkrumah awakened me to the dangers of racism. I realized racism isn’t just a Black and white problem. It’s brought bloodbaths to about every nation on earth at one time or another.”

He stopped and remained silent for a few moments. “Brother,” he said finally, ”remember the time that white college girl came into the restaurant — the one who wanted to help the Muslims and the whites get together — and I told her there wasn’t a ghost of a chance and she went away crying?”

“Yes.”

“Well, I’ve lived to regret that incident. In many parts of the African continent I saw white students helping Black people. Something like this kills a lot of argument. I did many things as a [Black] Muslim that I’m sorry for now. I was a zombie then — like all [Black] Muslims — I was hypnotized, pointed in a certain direction and told to march. Well, I guess a man’s entitled to make a fool of himself if he’s ready to pay the cost. It cost me twelve years.”

“That was a bad scene, brother. The sickness and madness of those days — I’m glad to be free of them. It’s a time for martyrs now. And if I’m to be one, it will be in the cause of brotherhood. That’s the only thing that can save this country. I’ve learned it the hard way — but I’ve learned it. And that’s the significant thing.”

As we parted he laid his hand on my shoulder, looked into my eyes and said, “As-salaam-alaikum, brother.”

“And may peace be with you, Malcolm,” I answered.

(the speaker, btw, was Gordon Parks, who interviewed him)

I say this because Black men are in need of healing. We are passing down a trauma that was passed down from our fathers, passed from his father to him, and from his father to him. No one will help us cope but ourselves. The anger in the Black community is legitimate. We have been through hell and back and we still have one foot in the damn place. We are being victimized through this country’s laws and practices, the disdain of nearly every racial group to immigrate here, hell we’re so bad we even victimize each other! The cancer of violence and hatred has been injected into our community’s bloodstream and it spreads everywhere we look. You can’t educate out of it either. A black man can get a PhD and a 6 figure job, and a cop will still pull you over for no reason and want to brutalize you. Fuck it, you can be the President of the United States, and the drunkest dirt bag and uneducated fool in the trailer park will still call you a Nigger and a boy… from trailer trash to U.S. Senators–you’re just another Black man they would rather see suffer.

Oh and please don’t come at me with that “Talking about it opens old wounds” BS either. The wound hasn’t healed because we won’t talk about it. White men avoid it, and Black men are obsessed with it, and if you don’t treat a cancer what does it do to you? It spreads all over your body and invades every piece of you. And since this is a conversation that White folks don’t want to have, and Black people love to have–the least we can do is to be experts at it.

And we are. Black people are such experts at racism and race relations, that we know history your average high school history teacher has never heard of. We know of incidents, historical essays and books, techniques used to control the slaves and dominate, people, places and events–that White Americans don’t know and probably wouldn’t want to know. The sad thing is that because we know it and don’t know what to do with it, we are like the Incredible Hulk, with all this anger, all this strength and power with no place to channel it and no peers to understand it. In the end it becomes destructive. We destroy ourselves, our communities and our people, even our children. Like I said earlier, the way to control it is to educate ourselves in order to improve our condition. Once we understand it, we can then heal it, battle it, and then change it.

The White man has done what he did. He still has a race problem of his own, which is evident in how insecure he is with talking about race and his own history with us. If you understand him and why he is the way that he is, you will be able to deal with him and help him navigate through his own bullshit–even when he is unwilling to admit he has a problem. As a Black man–you have bullshit of your own. But you cannot fix it until you understand it, and to understand it as well as the cure–you will have to turn to the experts and read and learn. Start with the Autobiography. Then come back here and we’ll talk about it.

Black woman, I am speaking to you too. White man, ditto. White woman, ditto that.

And you Whites, Asians, Hispanics who have Black friends and/or Black mixed children–read it. You’ve got a lot to learn as well.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

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Alan and Amy

An abecedarian, for those who know what that is…  Written for my best friend who decided in her late 30s that she wanted a baby (and wasn’t sure if she could actually have them)–I still claim her as my ultimate Baby Momma. Names had been changed. lol

Alan and Amy almost had another abortion or

baby, but because birth

control can cure conception with Christian conviction

Daddy decided to do

everything every

first time father who forgoes fatherhood

in order to gain a foothold in the grabbing of goods

and houses, he hated to have to heavily suffer

indefinitely, see, initially, incomes are interrupted

just by jumping in to join the generations of Joneses

or Karens and Kens having kids, he

liked

making money, making love, moving on the minute

never needing to nullify nymphatic normalities

or otherwise order takeout food out of owning

priorities… Parenthood pains pauses the

quality of life for quintessentially quaint queens and kings

or royalties for wrong reasons other than right

see, single sex spells sin since suffering stays

true to traditions of taming tainted temptations

Amy understood that it was unbearable to usurp the ulterior

veracity of vaculess valueless vanity

when will Alan and Amy wave to the wind and

accept the vex of the expected outcome of unprotected sex?

Amy yells to Ya’Allah, Yaweh, Yehova–yearning to yield a yes and gave birth

to Zion.

“Alan and Amy, for Flurrie Black”

 

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